The Erongo Region is struggling to respond to medical emergencies due to a shortage of ambulances at state hospitals.

Walvis Bay Mayor, Trevino Forbes, has expressed concern over the shortage of ambulances in the region, especially in the harbor town. 

"I have come to learn that the ambulance we are using here is borrowed from Omaruru, and it's also not working. It can't be that we are running our town like this. Namibia's industrial hub, a dilapidated hospital, no ambulances, and I can't stand by and watch as these public services deteriorate."

The ambulance at the Swakopmund State Hospital operates under pressure, having to also service neighboring Arandis.

A second ambulance at Omaruru also serves rural areas, including Okombahe.

The Regional Health Director, Anna Jonas, noted that three ambulances were written off last year after they were involved in accidents.

Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, says the matter is receiving attention, despite a moratorium that has been in place on the procurement of new vehicles since 2018.

He says the ambulance may be classified as medical equipment rather than under vehicles, and a proposal to this effect should help speed up the procurement process.

Meanwhile, Walvis Bay Urban Constituency Councillor Deriou Benson promised to lobby for support from the private sector and embassies to assist the state hospital.

"We are planning, myself and the mayor, and hopefully we can get Hon. Donatus on board to go and see various embassies in Windhoek as well, to see how we can try to seek donations for ambulances and then we will come on board. I'm coming from a logistics background, so I'm looking at how we can get private companies to provide logistical services to get those ambulances."

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NBC Digital News


Renate Rengura