Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, James Uerikua, has reiterated a call for a referral hospital at Otjiwarongo because of the many accidents happening on the B1 road.

Uerikua was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ombili Clinic at Otjiwarongo.

Otjiwarongo has a population of 220,000 inhabitants, of which 62,000 depend on health services from the Otjiwarongo State Hospital.

Frequent road accidents in the high-risk zone between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo put the services of the hospital under severe pressure. 
"Now, because of that, for every accident that happens here, Otjiwarongo tends to be the first centre of response. Emergency services that are actually going out there, be it from the municipality or from the rescue services, all of them are carrying patients back into Otjiwarongo, and that is at our district hospital. We reiterate and reaffirm our position of saying that a referral hospital in the region is not a luxury, nor is it for astatic purposes; it is actually a need that we sit with, and this has been on the cards for the past 8 years now. There is a need for the Ministry of Health to actually prioritise the process of commencing physically the construction of a referral hospital in Otjiwarongo. That hospital is needed."

A need for ambulances was also highlighted to service the four district hospitals, 26 health centres, and 19 clinics across the region.

There is also a need for high-care units in the region.

The Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, said plans are underway to set up ICUs across the country as well as procure additional ambulances.

"The ministry is currently in the process of establishing intensive care units at all 35 district hospitals, all of them. The ministry has started to install dialysis facilities at different hospitals, so Walvisbay, Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Oshakati, and Katutura Hospital are all going to have dialysis centres. And the governor pointed out that land is allocated, fenced off, and serviced; it's a question of bringing or starting the project, as is the multi-regional hospital for Otjiwarongo. This financial year, we are going to buy at least 20 ambulances that are going to be distributed across the country. So there is so much going on in this sector."

Nangombe said, although stretched, the ministry has completed the renovations of the Okakarara Hospital laundry room and kitchen, the installation of solar heating systems, and a water softening plant.



Faith Sankwasa