By Chrispin Inambao RUNDU Health and Social Services Minister, Dr Richard Kamwi, had a congested work schedule last week, opening new clinics and a mortuary in Kavango Region where he also officiated at a polio awareness campaign, giving preventive hints on the illness. The Minister’s rather tight schedule saw him opening a newly-constructed clinic at Bagani in Mukwe on Wednesday, then proceeding to officiate at the opening of a new health facility at Baramasoni in Mashare constituency on Thursday. Travelling by road on Friday, he went to Mpungu in a constituency bearing a similar name where he was the main speaker at a ceremony to mark the opening of a new mortuary. At the inauguration ceremony at Bagani 200 km east of Rundu, he commended the Roman Catholic Health Services for delivering quality health services to residents of Mukwe Constituency before and after Nami-bia’s independence. He said as health workers operated in buildings dilapidated largely due to wear and tear, his ministry being the custodian of health and social services was compelled to build the new clinic and staff accommodation “in order to improve the quality of health services”. Kamwi was also full of praise for architects and project managers in the ministry who contributed to the transformation of Bagani Clinic into a modern health facility. The new clinic, built at a cost of N$1,5 million and that cost the treasury N$46 000 to furnish, offers basic Primary Health Care (PHC) services such as preventing mother to child transmissions (PMTCT), Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and antenatal services. “I wish to appeal to you, the community of Bagani and Mukwe constituency at large, please regard this clinic as your own, please guard it against vandalism,” he said. “More importantly, develop good relations with the staff, because problems can only be identified and resolved when there is mutual respect, active dialogue and free communication between the parties involved,” stressed the Minister. He instructed health workers to be hardworking at all times and to be polite and kind to patients whom they should greet with a soothing touch so that they could derive maximum results. “Nobody should be sent home because she or he does not have fees to pay,” he added. The new clinic opened at Baramasoni will fulfill the primary objectives of contributing towards improving the health services and indicators in the Kavango Region. He said he expects an improvement in antenatal and post-natal coverage in the number of pregnant women that will be attended to during deliveries. In light of the Liquor Act being implemented countrywide, the minister said he hopes health workers at the clinic that cost N$2,1 million and whose furniture cost the State N$46 000 will train local communities about the adverse effects of habits such as liquor-guzzling. “For example, I note with concern the disturbing news on shebeen owners who operate without valid licences. The action by NamPol needs to be commended,” he said. “Alcohol abuse destroys the well-being of an individual, it also promotes the destruction of family units. The majority of accidents are as a result of drinking and driving. Alcohol abuse results in women, child abuse and rape” that result in the spread of HIV/AIDS. The mortuary at Mpungu will complement modern health facilities in that area that is equipped with Outpatient Departments (OPDs), offers Family Planning Services and have general wards on top of a maternity ward for admissions. Health officials saw it fit to open a mortuary because the constituency has a growing population and for the fact that the provision of the new service is in line with the Government’s policy of bringing service to the people, particularly those in rural areas. During his visits, the Minister told his audience that Round One (21 – 23 June) and Round Two (18 – 20 July) of the planned nationwide polio vaccination exercise would target both adults and children. Round Three lasting from 22 to 24 August that shall include Trivalent Polio and Measles Vaccinations as well as Vitamin A supplementation will only be confined to children, less than five years of age. As discrimination and victimization against those infected with HIV/AIDS is still a problem, he encouraged community leaders, teachers, church leaders, parents and all other members of the community to support his ministry’s efforts by being receptive. Elizabeth K. Muremi, the Regional Health Director for Kavango and chiefs Erwin Munika Mbambo of the Mbukushu tribe, Chief Sitentu Mpasi of Ukwangali Traditional Authority, Mpungu Councillor David Hamutenya and the Councillor of Kahenge witnessed the opening of the brand-new health facilities. * In an unrelated development, an eighteen-year-old woman appeared before Magistrate Suzette Walters at Rundu on a charge of having murdered her newly born baby. The alleged infanticide took place some five hours after birth inside the Rundu State Hospital. Detectives from the Women and Child Protection Unit arrested the resident of Kehemu, a high-density settlement near Rundu shortly after she committed the crime. She reportedly confessed having murdered her baby she claims was conceived after she was raped sometime late last year. During Friday’s brief court session Agnes Murangi, the unemployed suspect, was granted bail of N$1500 and was still in police custody yesterday. The suspect has also requested legal assistance from the State, and the case was postponed to August 21 specifically for that purpose.
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