The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) faced questions about the availability of cancer treatment equipment in the country following the death of Dr. Hage Geingob, who had to seek treatment in this regard in the United States of America.

During a recent parliamentary session, the leader of the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), Epafras Mukwiilongo, raised concerns and asked the Ministry of Health about plans to acquire modern cancer treatment machines.

"As we mourn the death of President Hage Geingob, we are quickly reminded that the President, may his dear soul rest in peace, had to be rushed to the USA for treatment. What alternatives are there to make cancer treatment more affordable in our country?"

In an interview with nbc, the Health Ministry's Executive Director, Ben Nangombe, highlighted that Namibia compares reasonably well with countries of similar population sizes in terms of radiotherapy machines.

"To say that Namibia does not have adequate equipment might not be entirely accurate. The question of treating cancer has to be approached with a broad view. Currently, the state has one radiotherapy cobalt machine, but the cobalt source is depleted. With a new supply we have ordered from Canada and expected in March,

Nangombe acknowledged the costs involved in referring patients to private facilities and emphasised the government's commitment to investing in healthcare for the well-being of its citizens.

"We understand that there is a cost to cancer treatment; that's why we go out of our way to ensure that any patient needing treatment, the state steps in to treat the patient. Despite this, the government ensures patients receive treatment in private facilities while actively introducing technologies and human resources to enhance cancer care. The health and well-being of our people are paramount; that's why we are doing what we do."

While recognising the strides made in healthcare, Nangombe underscored the continuous need for improvement in infrastructure, human resources, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, administration, and electronic systems to strengthen the public health approach and address the challenges faced in the delivery of healthcare services.

Photo Credits
Medical Imaging Namibia


Serafia Nadunya