Isolation ward for Oshakati

23 September 2019 | Health

The construction of an isolation or quarantine ward is currently underway at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, following a highly contagious Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) outbreak in the north earlier this year.

The hospital's medical superintendent Dr Korbinian Vizcaya Amutenya said reports of contagious diseases have sparked fear among the public and they are staying away from hospitals.

Amutenya said the health ministry has made money available for the construction of the isolation unit, to ensure that the hospital is a safe place for patients.

He also announced that the construction of an obstetric theatre has been completed and that maternity-related cases will no longer be taken to the main theatre, as they will be attended to in the maternity ward.

A quarantine or isolation ward is used to isolate patients suffering from infectious diseases.

“The construction of an isolation unit is at an advanced stage. The situation of members of the public fearing to go to the hospital because of patients with infectious diseases are being treated will be something of the past. We will have an isolation unit where all patients with diseases of a serious nature will be accommodated,” Amutenya said.

Isolation wards accommodate patients with contagious diseases, although more precautions are generally taken when it comes to diseases with a higher mortality rate.

The isolation ward is under construction at the back of the hospital, as per a World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation.

In an isolation unit, several measures are implemented in order to reduce the spread of infections.

These units are generally situated away from the main hospital and have dedicated staff.

In some hospitals, the isolation unit is placed in a separate building.

Ventilation is important to reduce the transmission of airborne spores and severely affected patients are placed in separate rooms.

Amutenya added that the hospital's maternity theatre which had not been operating for some time is now operational.

The health ministry renovated and expanded the hospital's maternity section, which includes a new theatre, at a cost of N$3 million.

Amutenya said when women go into labour they are no longer taken to the hospital's main theatre, which is usually fully booked.

He said the dedicated obstetric theatre will help reduce complications when it comes to mothers and their babies.

“There was a need for a theatre at the maternity ward. We decided that the ward should be renovated so that we could create space for a theatre. All maternity-related cases are no longer taken to the main theatre, but will be attended to in the maternity ward.

“This will also reduce complications that could otherwise occur while taking the patient to the main theatre, which is a bit far,” Amutenya said.

He added that the new facilities will reduce the workload at the main theatre, as well as the waiting period for patients needing surgery.

Every day between 27 and 30 women go into labour at the hospital.

ILENI NANDJATO

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