Minister of Health and Social Services Bernard Haufiku, who arrived at Keetmanshoop on Monday for a week-long visit to the //Karas Region, expressed his contentment over the overall cleanliness of the hospital in Keetmanshoop.
While touring Keetmanshoop State Hospital Haufiku said he is impressed with the overall cleanliness and quality of maintenance at the hospital, compared to other district hospitals he has visited.
He commended the hospital staff on keeping to a minimum the number of cases of mother-to-child HIV-transmission in the region, saying the success rate now stands at 99 percent, which is highly commendable.
He also applauded the hospital for keeping the maternal mortality rate at zero percent since 2012, saying it’s a remarkable achievement that should be used as a benchmark for other hospitals. “For the last four years no mother died while giving birth here,” he proudly said, while briefing the media at the hospital.
He, however, expressed mixed feelings when he visited the TB ward, saying he is glad the delay is over and work is now in full progress. The completion of the building had been delayed for over a year and will cost the ministry an extra N$10 million on top of the initial N$35 million price tag, bringing the total cost to about N$45 million.
He was also concerned about the incinerator, which has not been operational for four weeks, meaning the hospital has to transport medical waste to other nearby health facilities which adds to the hospital’s expenses. He was told that an overload might have caused the breakdown, to which he responded by saying people should always pay attention to what they are doing and that better supervision should be put in place.
“A person’s life can be lost while you are not paying attention,” he said regarding the need to be attentive. Minister Haufiku further stressed that his ministry would work to root out inefficiency at all levels to ensure adequate service delivery.
Upon finding a cellphone with music playing in the pharmaceutical department during his tour of the hospital, he spoke against cellphone usage on duty, saying it hinders performance and vowed that the ministry would work on a strategy to curb this common practice.
Regarding corruption in the ministry, he said it is well known that there is malfeasance in the ministry and this should not be hidden. He vowed to tackle it head-on: “We will not be complacent with corrupt officials, we will flush them out”.
The minister is next set to visit Rosh Pinah Health Centre, Lüderitz State Hospital and included Aussenkehr Clinic as part of his tour after he was briefed about existing problems at the clinic.