KOSIS – Members of the community at the sleepy settlement of Kosis 140 km west of Keetmanshoop have appealed to the health ministry to reopen the clinic that was closed in 1998 because of having a few patients.
At the time of the closure Kosis had about 200 residents but this number has now grown fivefold to about 1 000.
However, residents have appealed to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, to consider reopening the now rundown clinic.
Kamwi responded that the ministry would reconsider the community’s plea.
Currently residents of Kosis have to make do with a mobile clinic that operates at the settlement on a monthly basis or in cases of emergencies its residents have to travel for medical care to Bethanie located 40 km away.
Buoyed by the minister’s assurance the community have now started to clean up the old clinic in preparation for its possible reopening.
Community spokesperson Anna Joseph said a letter was handed to Kamwi last month when he inaugurated the upgraded Bethanie Health Centre and he assured Kosis residents that attention was being given their request.
“He promised us that the matter will be looked into and he would pass on our grievances to the incoming minister when he leaves office,” said an exuberant Joseph.
Joseph who is the main force behind the revival attempts said there are more people than before at the settlement, including the surrounding farms, and it’s thus imperative that health services be brought nearby.
A letter addressed to the health ministry states the settlement has inadequate, inaccessible and unaffordable health services and that the current outreach programme is not sufficient to meet the community’s rising demands for health services.
Joseph explained her community only has access to health services once a month when a mobile clinic visits the settlement, adding that sometimes the clinic “doesn’t come” meaning expectant mothers and those on ARV treatment don’t get their pills on time.
Johannes Swartz a senior councillor of the !Aman Traditional Authority at Kosis pointed out that people especially the elderly were suffering and when they need medical help they have to fork out N$350 from their little pension to rent a car to be taken to hospital.