A delegation comprising Japanese Ambassador Hisao Nishimaki, UN Resident Coordinator Hopolang Phororo, and UNICEF Country Representative Sam Ocran visited the Rundu Intermediary Hospital in the Kavango East Region recently.
The visit was part of an impact assessment of Japanese assistance to the Kavango East health sector.
The Kavango East Region's population of close to 220,000 is served by 31 health facilities, 28 health centres and clinics, two district hospitals, and the Rundu Intermediate Referral Hospital. 

All these health facilities have benefited from the Japanese government's funding of about N$30 million.

 The delegation, accompanied by the Kavango East regional health director, Idah Mendai, received a briefing from the region's Chief Health Programme Officer, Peter Haita, who pointed towards a drop in maternal deaths, although a lot more needs to be done.

Japan's Deputy Representative, Toshiko Takahashi, also informed the meeting that they are currently carrying out a multi-lateral programme with four UN agencies, namely the World Health Organisation, the UN Population Fund, the UN Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Following the briefing, the officials visited Rundu Hospital's maternity department, where they were informed that the ward records at least 500 deliveries per month, with 98% of those being live births. Mothers as young as 14 years old and some aged 40 have been giving birth in the four delivery rooms at the hospital. Knowing their HIV status is crucial.

There was also a special focus on cold chain equipment and supplies, crucial in storing immunisation-related vaccines. Much of the Japanese government assistance went into the cold chain equipment.

Japan's Ambassador to Namibia, Hisao Nishimaki, was impressed with what he witnessed at the maternity department of the Rundu Hospital, with its staff contingent of 78 men and women.

For the UN Resident Coordinator in Namibia, Hopelong Phororo partnerships are key to addressing challenges, especially in the health sector, and this is a perfect example of a partnership involving Japan, Unicef, and Namibia.

Sam Ocran is the Country Director for the UN Children's Fund, and he is convinced that the future of the children is secured after what he witnessed during the visit to the Rundu hospital.

Photo Credits
NBC Digital News


Peter Denk