Oshakati low on oxygen, suspends anaesthesia

As of yesterday, Oshakati State Hospital had 35 admitted Covid-19 patients, 15 of whom needed oxygen supply.

08 June 2021 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

OSHAKATI

Oshakati State Hospital is running low on oxygen and yesterday, the hospital's theatre could only handle surgeries with local anaesthesia. Operations needing general anaesthesia were put on hold.

Confirming this, Oshana regional health director Johanna Haimene yesterday said the entire hospital is overwhelmed by the increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. She added that all the departments that use oxygen are affected.

Haimene said they have come up with measures to attend to the emergency situation, but she was at pains to reveal what these measures are, saying they can only be revealed if they are effective.

She was also quick to point out that this is a national crisis which needs collective efforts from all Namibians if the country is to survive with minimal loss of lives.

“This does not mean our structures have collapsed. Everything is working as it should. But the demand surpassed the supply. The general intensive care unit is not affected yet," she said.

Haimene added that they have decided to not stop elective operations for now, but will consider postponing cases which are not emergencies.

Life-threatening

Two doctors who spoke to Namibian Sun yesterday expressed “serious” concern about the situation, calling it “life-threatening”.

One doctor said basic things like gloves and personal protective equipment are also not available.

“It’s really sad, our people are suffering and no one seems to care,” the doctor said.

Another doctor said: “I came to work at eight. Just sleeping because there’s no oxygen. And we can’t be in theatre operating because ventilators are failing. What a f*** time to be alive”.

Haimene refuted the claim that no one cares and said the ministry is working around the clock to see how best to solve the situation.

“We have been in and out of meetings to see how best to solve this and to reduce the pressure on the oxygen generating systems,” she stressed.

Haimene also used the opportunity to once again remind Namibians to take their Covid-19 vaccinations as the country finds itself in the midst of a third wave.

“People should follow the protocols put in place. Practise social distancing - especially at the bars, wear masks and sanitise. Together we can do it."

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