Residents of Onghala Village are complaining that the Ministry of Health and Social Services' outreach program has not reached them yet.

Onghala is one of the villages affected by the flood waters from southern Angola, and residents want the Ministry to come and witness their conditions.

Onghala residents are forced to walk long distances to Engela Hospital, a journey that is even more perilous now that it requires moving through flood waters.

They dread when relatives fall sick, as they do not have the means to cross the flooded plains.

Even those with vehicles do not want to risk it.

The village headman, Paulus Frederick, told the nbc News team that the nearest clinic at Onghala lacks staff.

He thus called on the government to accelerate the necessary logistics to ensure this was resolved.

"We had made a request to at least get a nurse here for the duration of the floods, but it has not been addressed. The government sometimes is slow at answering people's concerns, but you will just see no solution until the water subsides. The situation is no longer acceptable. Some people are old, and even if you go to the hospital on their behalf to get their chronic medication, the doctors might not give it to you."

While they are happy that water levels in some parts of the Engela Constituency are dropping, navigating through the water to access basic services remains unavoidable, said the villagers.

"How can that old man go to the hospital? We were told to walk to the nearest gravel road so that we could get a car to come and assist this man. We went there, and the story changed; apparently, he will be airlifted, but to date, there has been no helicopter. At least the ambulance came. But we need community nurses too."

Another villager said, "Our grandfather is disabled, and he wants to go to the hospital, but that car is too small; it's not a four-by-four and cannot pass through the water. Instead of these people bringing along nurses, they only send us paramedics to pick up the people who are sick. How does that help? How will they get back here after their treatment? It's better to bring health care services to the people instead."

Contacted for comment, Ohangwena Health Director John Hango said the ministry has put up an outreach program to assist affected villagers at Oimbadalunga, Eengava, Shikeva, and Onghala A and B.

The program, though, operates pending the availability of suitable transport for healthcare workers.
At present, he said, the ministry depends on the NDF chopper to reach out to those cut off from more accessible areas.

Photo Credits


Ndapanda Shuuya