The Katutura Hospital pediatric Ward 8A and 8B which has the capacity to admit 84 pediatric patients is currently making use of mattresses for mothers and their admitted babies due to the lack of physical space availability.
Ministry of Health and Social Services Executive director Ben Nangombe said that 85 percent of the population depends on the public health sector.
“The people of Namibia are increasingly adopting health seeking behaviour. Whenever they or their family members are unwell, they visit health facilities for treatment or admission.
The majority are treated and admitted at public health facilities. This reflects the confidence that the people have in the public health sector on which more than 85 percent of the population depends. With increasing health seeking behaviour comes higher demand for and pressure on the physical space available. The hospital management had to innovate by way of removing some of the beds from the rooms. Stable admitted patients share mattresses with their mothers,” Nangombe said.
The provision of mattresses he says provides better comfort for the new mothers as they would otherwise have to sit on chairs.
However, Nangombe added that pediatric patients who require high care are cared for by nurses in cot beds or incubators, as required and the hospital is dealing with it.
“The physical space constraints will be effectively dealt with through the construction of new health facilities or expansion to existing facilities, such as the new projects completed in the Windhoek Central/Katutura Hospital Complex. These include the construction of new COVID-19 isolation facilities (which can be repurposed to cater for other categories of patients. This is resource maximization.), theatre, the conversion of the old Nurses Hall into a Ward, the conversion of the Old NIP Building at Katutura Hospital into a Ward and the addition of a 98-bed facility at the old Katutura Hospital TB Ward, which now also include a dialysis Unit with 6 beds. The Ministry has secured and fenced off land to build a new District Hospital in Windhoek,” he added. According to a mother who preferred anonymity, she had to sleep uncomfortably on the hospital floors as some of the beds were broken and there was no space to accommodate space for them to sleep on.
“My 2-month year old baby was admitted at Katutura Hospital, we had to sleep on the floor because they told us the there was no space to accommodate all of us”
said the mother.