The word "dilapidated" is frequently used to describe healthcare facilities throughout the country.

However, the Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, believes this term is exaggerated.

Nangombe acknowledges that the ministry faces challenges but asserts that it has made substantial progress in upgrading infrastructure over the years.

"Of course we have clinics and health facilities that need attention; these are still working facilities, so we have put in place measures to ensure that we have maintained these health facilities, to renovate such facilities, and to develop new ones."

The Health and Social Services Ministry has been allocated a substantial budget for capital projects, and Nangombe cautioned his management to ensure that the funds are directed for their intended purposes so that projects initiated by the Ministry are completed.

"There are capital projects that have been abandoned for many years. It starts, and then the contractor just disappears. Projects have been outstanding for many years. Onandjokwe Maternity Ward, we are still struggling; we had to cancel that contract."

The executive director also expressed his displeasure over the lack of  progress in establishing a neo-natal ward at the Swakopmund State Hospital and said that, like the Onandjokwe contract, Swakopmund's too must be cancelled.

"We had other projects where the contractors started to put up trusses; they stood for too long, exposed to elements, and started to bend; now you cannot even put on a roof because they are no longer in good condition."

Besides listing challenges, Nangombe also pointed out successes, highlighting patients and the state-of-the-art dental section at the Okahao Hospital.

He also revealed that the ministry plans to purchase 30 new ambulances during this financial year and directed regional heads to commence with a project to fix broken vehicles.

The ministry has completed the installation of network infrastructure at 35 hospitals and 23 health centres.

Photo Credits
Ministry of Health and Social services


Emil Xamro Seibeb