Ministry of Health and Social Services

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Query: According to a report in The Namibian newspaper July 15, 2016: A Walvis Bay woman carried her dead unborn child for about a week, because doctors at the harbour town could not remove the corpse. Annelie Shindjomba, 23, had to be rushed to Windhoek Central Hospital on Tuesday, where the corpse was removed on July 13 through inducement.

Response: The patient was initially admitted at Walvis Bay State Hospital for 24 hours and discharged after medical examinations indicated that the heartbeat of the unborn child was normal once more. After three days, the patient came back to the hospital stating that she could not feel the baby move. Medical examinations were conducted and showed that the unborn baby was dead.
Before removing the dead baby, various tests were conducted on the mother, including a blood test, to determine the best approach to removing the dead foetus without risking the life of the mother. Test results came back after a few days and it was then decided that only a specialist at Windhoek Central Hospital could safely remove the dead baby from the womb without risking the mother’s life.

Query: According to a report in Informante newspaper on July 21, 2016: The Opuwo district Hospital in the Kunene Region has only one doctor to attend to all the patients in the district, leading to a breakdown in medical care.

Response: There are seven doctors at Opuwo district hospital: one senior medical officer, four medical officers, and two dentists. In the morning hours, four medical officers conduct ward rounds for the inpatients (admitted patients), while one doctor is stationed at the outpatient unit to attend to day patients. Subsequent to providing services in the wards the four medical officers automatically join other health care providers in the outpatient unit to continue providing the necessary healthcare services. The two dentists are stationed at the dental unit of the hospital to provide dental services to both inpatients and outpatients. All medical officers’ posts at this health facility are 100% filled.

Ester Paulus, public relations officer in the Ministry Of Health and Social Services. E-mail: Ester.Paulus@mhss.gov.na

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