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Residents from Windhoek's informal settlements have expressed their gratitude for the government's efforts to bring healthcare services closer to their doorsteps. 

Residents turned up in numbers to witness the ground-breaking ceremony of the Windhoek District Hospital, estimated to cost about N$2.9 billion, at Farm 108 in the Havana Informal Settlement today. 

In the Khomas Region, health care services are provided through outreach points. 

These comprise 10 clinics, two health centres, and the Katutura Intermediate Hospital, which serves as the district hospital and intermediate referral hospital. 

There has been a scramble for health care services among the public, leading to overcrowding at Katutura Hospital.

That facility has an average bed occupancy of 113%, with capacity constraints on the part of healthcare workers.

This prompted the need for a new district hospital.

Cabinet approved the construction of the Windhoek District Hospital last year, with that facility envisaged to provide for general outpatient and inpatient care.

Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwa officiated the groundbreaking ceremony on behalf of President Nangolo Mbumba.

"The construction of the new hospital here in Havana is an important milestone. It is not only significant to enhance access to quality health services but also a clear commitment of the government to improve the living standards of its people. In order to do a good job, we are expected to complete this hospital in 2027, and as I stand here, I call upon and strongly direct all involved in this important project to ensure that its implementation is done in accordance with the time frame." 

The Windhoek District Hospital is hoped to reduce the workload and referrals of patients to Katutura Intermediate Hospital.

"The existing Katutura Intermediate Hospital will serve as a Class B facility to provide a referral pathway, training, and research. Because Katutura Hospital serves both as a referral and a district hospital, it is congested. Patients complain of long queues and long waits," said Health Minister Dr. Kalumbi Shangula.

The hospital will have a 500-bed capacity and, apart from conventional hospital departments, will also feature surgery facilities, a mothers' lodge, an expecting mothers lodge, an appropriate mental health unit, clinical support services, staff accommodations, and recreation facilities, among others.

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NBC Digital News

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July Nafuka