Oshakati hospital rundown, understaffed

19 September 2019 | Health

The 750-bed Oshakati Intermediary Hospital, which serves close to a million patients a year, is operating without a paediatrician, neonatologist, neurosurgeon, dietician, clinical psychologist and other specialists.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula is calling on the private sector to help address a crisis at the hospital, where many of the diagnostic machines are out of order and red tape is causing delays in replacing or repairing them.

This was said at the handover of medical equipment by the First National Bank of Namibia (FNB) and the commissioning of a fluoroscopy machine at the northern referral hospital.

The hospital's medical superintendent, Dr Korbinian Vizcaya Amutenya, said the hospital, which serves over a million people in all the northern regions and southern Angola, is in a critical situation.

The hospital's CT scanner, fluoroscopy, mammogram, magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA), digital X-ray and C-Arm medical imaging devices are among the equipment that has been out of order for quite some time, Amutenya said.

Because of that, the hospital has to send patients to Windhoek, or in urgent cases to expensive private hospitals for imaging studies.

The staff are overburdened and demoralised, he added.

“The fluoroscopy has been removed from this list, but I have to tell you that the mammogram is not yet here, the MRA is not yet here, the CT scanner is broken and the supplier is not coming to repair it due to outstanding payments.

“When these items are not here, they have a serious financial implication for the ministry because one has to go and get these services elsewhere and it's costly,” Amutenya said.

Shangula said the government had spent more than N$5 million on replacing the fluoroscopy device that had broken in 2011 and other equipment would also be replaced.

“The government of the Republic of Namibia is committed to the provision of quality healthcare to the Namibian people and that is the reason money was made available to acquire the fluoroscopy. For other medical equipment highlighted by the superintendent, the government will do its best to make sure that all the services will be finally offered at the hospital,” Shangula said.

“This cannot be done by the ministry alone, but everybody, including corporate institutions, can make their contributions.”

Amutenya said the machines are breaking down because the Oshakati hospital is a referral hospital for all the district hospitals in the Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto, Kavango and Kunene regions. Angolan healthcare services also refer patients there.

It is reported that the hospital provides healthcare to more than 950 000 people.

“All these patients are coming to us, but the equipment that we have is not commensurate with the demand. For example, the CT scanner that broke is designed to make only about 200 000 sorties before replacing the tube, but because of the demand, when ours broke it had made more than 500 000 sorties,” Amutenya explained.

“We are supposed to have at least two or three scanners so that they can operate smoothly, but since we are in a resource-limited setting we have to work with what we can afford.”

ILENI NANDJATO

Similar News

 

Winning the fight against measles

5 days ago - 09 December 2019 | Health

Over the past decade there has been a drastic decline in measles cases in Namibia, dropping from 1 815 to only 16 confirmed cases this...

Economic misery fuels suicides

1 week ago - 06 December 2019 | Health

Close to 400 people died by suicide between January and September 2019 and experts warn that Namibia's economic crisis, lack of jobs and the crippling...

Malaria cases on the rise

1 week ago - 06 December 2019 | Health

Namibia accounts for 29.2% of suspected malaria cases in East and Southern and Africa (ESA). This percentage is the second largest in the sub-region, behind...

Women: The face of HIV

1 week ago - 06 December 2019 | Health

More than 200 000 Namibians aged 15 years and older are living with HIV and more than half of them are women.According to the health...

The calm in the storm

2 weeks ago - 29 November 2019 | Health

MARISELLE STOFBERG Everyone has a dream of making a difference in life, but sometimes lacks the perseverance and determination needed to do that. Renay Coetzee,...

Maternity ward in limbo

2 weeks ago - 25 November 2019 | Health

Poor floor work has led to the halting of the N$59 million antenatal and postnatal maternity ward project at the Onandjokwe state hospital.This was after...

More than meets the eye

3 weeks ago - 22 November 2019 | Health

Evany van Wyk “Being able to do what I do – and doing it well – is a blessing!” says Lizelle van Schalkwyk, the...

Namibia, Angola strengthen disease surveillance

3 weeks ago - 20 November 2019 | Health

Populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock are the worst affected by surveillance...

Hospital ­denies Itula ­allegation

1 month - 14 November 2019 | Health

The regional directorate of health for Ohangwena has denied an allegation by independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula that a patient at Eenhana district hospital had...

Kavango Catholic hospitals in danger of closure

1 month - 11 November 2019 | Health

Management of five Catholic Health Services (CHS) hospitals in the two Kavango regions say they may have to close shop if no further monetary allocation...

Latest News

Rundu chaos engulfs Swapo again

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Politics

The same chaos that engulfed the Rundu town council office-bearers election late last year, which dragged on to earlier this year, is once again playing...

Intercape confirms terrifying bus robbery

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Crime

While confirming a terrifying incident in which Intercape passengers were robbed at gunpoint on their way to Harare, the bus company did not answer questions...

Action, not promises

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Opinion

Acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana's utterances on Wednesday in Walvis Bay, where he addressed the fishing industry, must have come as music to the ears...

Erastus gets CEO nod

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Business

Licky Erastus has been appointment as the new CEO of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC). Erastus had served as the company's acting CEO since June...

Dam levels still critical

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

While several dams have received inflows following good rains over the majority of the country, forecasts indicate that most parts of Namibia can expect only...

N$100k fine for ivory possession

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Crime

A man has been sentenced to a fine of N$100 00 or four years in prison for illegal possession of four elephant tusks. Bangorogile Motsokwe...

Students accuse Schlettwein of 'sabotage'

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Education

The Students' Union of Namibia (SUN) has accused finance minister Calle Schlettwein of sabotage, saying he is yet to release monies to pay their tuition...

Hundreds of thousands food insecure

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT Namibia’s agricultural sector has been contracting for the past five years and rural households and small-scale farmers have been severely affected, with 700...

Rundu welcomes ACC probe

1 day - 13 December 2019 | Disasters

KENYA KAMBOWE Rundu mayor Isak Kandingu has responded to a letter circulating on social media which alleges that the Rundu town council illegally swapped land...

Load More