TB hospital nears completion

06 June 2019 | Health

A long-awaited TB hospital at Keetmanshoop is expected to be completed by September this year, says the //Karas regional health director, Dr Refanus Kooper.

According to Kooper the N$38 million building is 96% complete.

Kooper, who doubles as the chief medical officer at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital, told Namibian Sun that the isolation ward would significantly reduce the spread of TB.

The construction project, which had been scheduled for completion in 2014, came to a standstill in February that year because of disagreements between the contractor and the consulting team.

Kooper says the ministry has informed the regional office that a new contractor will take over the project.

“We are just waiting for approval for all the procedures to continue the construction. The tender has been advertised. I think they have identified somebody who can finish the construction,” he said.

The building will have a waiting area, rooms for patients, a pharmacy, a small kitchen, a gymnasium, a laundry room and a courtyard for long-term patients.

The project was part of the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) funded by the government through the ministry of health and social services.



TB burden

During this year's commemoration of World TB Day, USAID country representative Dr Randy Kolstad said it is estimated that Namibia has the 11th highest TB incidence rate in the world. Last year former health minister Dr Bernhard Haufiku said about 36% of HIV-positive Namibians also have TB. According to him the biggest threat is drug resistant TB. The Namibian newspaper reported in 2018 that about 700 people had died from tuberculosis-related infections in Namibia that year, while over 8 800 new TB infections were recorded in 2017.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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