The Governor of the Kunene Region, Angelika Muharukua, when asked to introduce keynote speaker the Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Haufiku, at the World Malaria Day commemoration last Friday questioned if such introduction was the task of a governor.
“A governor of a region represents the President in that region. Why does it have to be the governor to introduce the minister? What is the meaning of that? Who is to introduce the minister?” queried Muharukua who kept emphasising that a regional governor is the President’s representative in a region.
“Is it really me who has to introduce the minister or who is the one to introduce the minister?” Muharukua asked before bringing to Haufiku’s attention some of the health problems that people in Opuwo are faced with.
Muharukua said there are only two state medical doctors in Opuwo. This, she said, impacts on health delivery services because people go for days without being attended to by a doctor.
“… I want this issue to be sorted within the course of the coming week. I don’t know how many people two doctors will attend to considering that the hospital queues are normally very long,” said Muharukua.
Furthermore, she requested that a referral hospital be built in Opuwo as many patients “die or deliver babies” while being transported to Oshakati hospital or to Windhoek.
“Patients die while being transported from one district to another. If we are speaking of development it has to be everywhere people live. You can’t take a person from one district hospital to another. A district hospital has to be built here in Opuwo,” said Muharukua.
In response, Haufiku said that during his tour of the Kunene Region last week he discovered there is a common problem at health facilities in the region.
“I have been to many clinics. I have seen that wherever I go there is a lack of staff such as doctors and nurses,” said Haufiku. He said the Ministry of Health has sent students to various universities to be trained as medical personnel.
“There are more than 1 000 students who are being trained as doctors and nurses. They will be deployed in those clinics. But we can’t wait for the training we have to start right away. I will immediately mobilise doctors and possibly nurses to initiate a programme to work in the regions,” said Haufiku.
He added that come May 11 he would work with a team of doctors in Khorixas and on June 4 and 5 he would work with a team of doctors in Opuwo hospital.
“It’s a symbolic gesture to motivate our colleagues who are overworked in hospitals that good things are coming,” said Haufiku.