Lending out a helping hand to the health sector

The Mariental hospital recently received a generous donation of medical equipment to the value of just over N$7 million from Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia).

01 October 2021 | Others

Elizabeth Joseph

The 500-litre, environmentally friendly oxygen generating plant donated to the hospital is the first of its kind in Africa and is said to benefit the entire Hardap Region.

During the handover on Thursday, Mariental mayor Adam Kuhlman said that he not only welcomes corporate citizenship but he is also impressed with all the investment that has been made in ensuring the health and preservation of the lives of Mariental residents.

"This donation can produce 93-93% of pure medical-grade oxygen per minute and is a testimony that despite the downward economic activity, corporates like Namdia are fulfilling their corporate social responsibility," Kuhlman said.

In addition to the donation, health minister Kalumbi Shangula noted that the country has been in a dire need of isolation facilities, electricity connections, water, sewerage networks, theatres, and intensive care units.

"We have taken a deliberate decision to build these isolation facilities within the perimeters of hospitals to maximise on the deployment of human resources and utilization of facilities and services such as oxygen supply installations among other things.

According to Shangula, oxygen therapy is one of the critical interventions in the treatment of respiratory distress, which is also a symptom of Covid-19 infection. The donated oxygen generating system will ensure that the hospital has the necessary capacity to supply medical oxygen for those in need.

"The oxygen system will bring about a reduction in the expenditure on medical oxygen cylinders, which has proven to be costly over the years. It will further complement the existing Intaka Oxygen Generating System that continues to supply oxygen to the critical hospital units as has been the case before," he said.

Infrastructure

A 12-bed prefabricated isolation facility was constructed and is in use for high care. The Mariental hospital's main outpatient department was converted to a 12-bed isolation facility.

A prefabricated OPD with its theatre has been completed and is currently in use. Furthermore, in collaboration with the National Youth Service, the Kheikanaxab Centre is also being used as an isolation facility.

Shangula said that the ministry identified a gap in ICU provision in many regions. Mariental hospital will be provided with a 10-bed ICU facility. The ministry will send a team to Mariental today to discuss with the Hardap Regional Team and identify the location of the ICU in the hospital.

The construction for the upgrading of the Mariental PHC commenced mid-August 2019 with a completion date of 9 August 2021. The contract value stands at N$22 275 109. So far, the expenditure to date is N$18 061 282, according to Kalumbi. There has been a delay in the finalisation of the project but the ministry is confident that the remaining work will be completed soon.

In light of this donation, Namdia CEO Kennedy Hamutenya said the oxygen generation plant was part of over N$7.6 million in donations which have been made to the health ministry.

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