President Hage Geingob says the newly renovated Emergency Unit at Katutura Intermediate Hospital is just one example of infrastructure to boost the overall healthcare system and effectively deal with emergency medical situations.

Dr. Geingob inaugurated the facility, refurbished at a cost of more than N$3 million.

The Emergency Unit, previously known as the Casualty Unit, is the biggest emergency unit in the country.

The Health Ministry says this is because more than 90% of the patients admitted to both Katutura Intermediate and Windhoek Central Hospitals are first attended to at the Emergency Unit before admission.

It attends to up to 150 patients per day, translating to 4,600 per month.

"Preparedness is the mother of success. In order for our health system to effectively deal with emergency medical situations, we need to have the necessary infrastructure in place. That is the essence of the renovation and modernization of this facility. This facility, the busiest in the country, handles different types of trauma occasioned by different causes and situations. Our nation needs to commit to a different posture of caring and compassion. We need to orient our conduct towards the prevention of injuries."

The refurbishment of the emergency unit, the president says, is a demonstration of how the government has been deliberate in leveraging public-private partnerships.

"With the completion of this project, two pillars of Harambee Prosperity Plan 2 are being addressed. Namely, Pillar 3-Social Progression, which speaks to improving the quality of life for all Namibians especially vulnerable members of our country in accessing quality public healthcare, as well as Pillar 4, which speaks to infrastructure development. I take this opportunity to make a clarion call to other private sector entities and stakeholders to come to the table and become part of the solution to our nation's challenges."

The President applauded Standard Bank and the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund for heeding the call of the government to help improve public health infrastructure.

The two entities invested a combined amount of N$12,6 million towards the upgrades.

Other sections of the Katutura Hospital are also set to receive facelifts.

"Recently, the former Namibia Institute of Pathology building was renovated and converted into a paediatric ward. A 98-bed new ward was added to the hospital and is also hosting the new 16-bed dialysis unit. The pharmacy was also renovated. Currently, renovation is ongoing on all the floors, removing, among others, the old gypsum materials that mice use to gain entry into the hospital," added Health Minister Dr. Kalumbi Shangula.

The Emergency Unit has a staff complement of 53, comprising nurses, medical officers, and medicine specialists.



Blanche Goreses