Otjozondjupa struggles with ambulances

Obrein Simasiku

The Otjozondjuba Region is struggling to attend to health related emergencies with only two ambulances for the vast and accident prone region.

Otjozondjupa has a population of 143 903. “In terms of ambulance services the region is still challenged due to the aging fleet and breakdowns and as we are talking the whole region is only having two operational ambulances which is a serious cause of concern and requires immediate attention,” said Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua in his State of the Region Address (SORA).

He said, Tsumkwe Constituency is the most affected as it heavily relies on medical services from Grootfontein, which is 400kms away, thus creating a great concern on timely and quality healthcare provision.

“Our region is vast and Tsumkwe Constituency being the furthest and with difficult road infrastructure, it is our commitment and wish to see that Tsumkwe Constituency be liberated as a stand-alone health district for increased access to health care by those communities,” added Uerikua.

In addition, he said, as a region, ‘’we are heavily reliant on the efficient operations of the health system in order to ensure societal well-being. For administrative purposes our region was segmented into four health districts being Okahandja, Okakarara, Grootfontein including Tsumkwe and Otjiwarongo.

Furthermore, the governor said, having proper infrastructure is one of the fundamental requirements for a responsive health system. He thus revealed that, during the 2021/22 financial year, the region somewhat observed some achievements despite all the overhead challenges. Among these, is the construction of prefabricated isolation facilities at Okahandja and Otjiwarongo hospitals at a total cost of N$7 346 833.49, as well as a prefabricated TB/HIV Clinic at Tsumkwe at a cost of N$521 203.

Other projects include, the renovation and upgrading of mortuaries at Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein and Okakarara at a total cost of N$866 329, refurbishment of hospital wards and laundry services.

“A total of N$19 610 817 was spent on capital projects of the Ministry of Health in the Otjozondjupa Region for this period. We also benefited from the installation at Grootfontein District Hospital, of a 4.5 ton oxygen tank donated by the Welsh Government through Cardiff University in partnership with the University of Namibia,” he said.

By Observer