By Surihe Gaomas
The Rundu State Hospital recently received a major boost consisting of medical equipment worth N$3 million from Germany.
The donation, which comprises the latest surgical supplies like needles, wound tapes, sheets, syringes, clothes as well as toys for children, came about as a result of the long standing cultural exchanges between Namibia and Germany.
It all began in May 2005 when traditional cultural groups Uukumwe and Kambundu of the Kavango Region were invited to perform in some towns in the Federal Republic of Germany. Their lively performances took the audience by storm. This culminated in several more visits to this country, where many of the cultural dancers got the opportunity to expose Namibian culture to the outside world.
As a token of appreciation to Namibia and the people of Kavango in particular, the Council of Trosingen from the Federal Republic of Germany decided to donate medical equipment worth N$3 million to the Rundu State Hospital.
The five-member German delegation was led by Consul Georg Quandt who handed over the donation at a ceremony in Rundu last week Friday.
In his keynote address, Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture John Mutorwa said culture is an important aspect of building unity in diversity.
“The government’s policy agenda is anchored upon the belief and commitment of cultivating culture as a unifying and nation-building force,” said Mutorwa, adding that it is important for such a situation to prevail especially for a country that only has a total population of about 2 million people.
In line with the country’s Constitution, namely Article 19, Mutorwa is of the opinion that cultural activities should continue to play an important role in unifying the nation, despite the different ethnic backgrounds and cultural diversities.
“Let cultural activities continue to play their important role of bringing our people – young and old – together at all times, to practically realise that achievable objective of an enriched unity in diversity,” added Mutorwa.
The main objective of these cultural exchange programmes and cultural tours to other countries is to enhance and promote mutual friendship ties and promote culture beyond the country’s borders.
Such a “human culture” further enhances what Mutorwa called “internal understanding, dialogue, contact, communication and cooperation”.
At the same time, arts and culture must also be seen as a way through which Namibians can earn money and use this cultural trade as a means of creating job opportunities.
“Our diversity is a source of strength, not weakness. Our diversity is thus our wealth,” said Mutorwa.
In response, Consul George Quandt saw the donation to the Rundu State Hospital not only as an investment to improve health service delivery in the Kavango Region, but also a sign of the good cultural friendship between Namibia and Germany.
“We help where we can and we have many friends in Namibia and Rundu in particular,” said Quandt.
Upon receiving the donation, Chief Medical Officer of the Rundu State Hospital Dr Yuri Yangazov expressed gratitude for the kind gesture, saying that the medical equipment will be put to good use.
The Rundu State Hospital currently caters for 126 patients. It has a staff complement of 392 people.
Meanwhile, the Kavango cultural dance groups have been invited to Germany for more performances in July this year.