Only 96 out of 215 ambulances functioning countrywide

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is currently operating with only 96 functional ambulances across the country.

Statistics provided by the Executive Director of the Ministry, Ben Nangombe, reveal that of the allocated 215 ambulances, 44 have been rendered unusable and 75 are either out of service or undergoing repairs.

Nangombe disclosed that, of the operational ambulances, 15 are stationed at referral and intermediate hospitals, while 82 operate at district hospitals.

There have been pleas from various communities across the country urging the government to provide sufficient ambulances to the Ministry to ensure efficient service delivery.

The harrowing incident involved Ciara Frederick, a pregnant teenager from Okahandja, who, after being attacked by unknown assailants, had to wait three hours for an ambulance in the Nau-aib residential area.

Frederick, 16, who was reportedly eight months pregnant at the time of the incident, was on her way to her boyfriend’s house. She suffered a stab wound to the chest and subsequently succumbed to her injuries en route to Okahandja State Hospital, according to police reports.

Frederick’s grandmother, Francisca, conveyed their desperation and subsequent despair upon learning that the nearest available ambulance was in Windhoek.

A few weeks ago, the National Council Standing Committee on Health, Social Welfare, and Labor Affairs drew attention to the prohibitive cost of hiring private ambulances, which can amount to a staggering N$90,000 per trip.

This was highlighted as a significant concern, especially considering the acute scarcity of functional ambulances in the Katima Mulilo Hospital region.

The committee visited the Zambezi Region on an oversight mission to assess the condition of healthcare facilities.

Related Posts