Aussenkehr- Residents of the grape farm Aussenkehr are frustrated with the state of the clinic, saying the demand for medical care of over 30 000 people can simply not be met by the three nurses currently stationed there.
Residents say many sick people are often not treated for days on end due to long queues and the fact that the three nurses are unable to cater for the large number of people that visit the clinic on a daily basis.
Some who spoke to New Era said people wake up as early as 02h00 in order to camp at the clinic, so that they can have a chance to be treated, but they also said sometimes waking up and joining the queue early simply does not help, as some spend two whole days in queue before they are helped.
The residents say the situation at the clinic is worrisome, as people who are seriously sick have to wait long periods before receiving treatment and this they say might result in preventable loss of life.
“You can wake up as early as 02h00, but you still won’t be assisted, as the queues are very long and sometimes you go for two days without getting your medicine due to the large number of people,” said Annastasia Kamonga.
Another resident, Martha Solotji, said the clinic is very small for the ever-expanding population of Aussenkehr and with only three nurses on duty it is a mission impossible to get medical attention in time.
She added that the situation is worsened by the fact that the clinic is closed over weekends and lunch hours and when the nurses attend to someone in labour, the rest of the patients have to wait until the woman has delivered.
“The clinic is very small and if someone is in labour all the nurses attend to her and the rest are told to go back or wait,” Solotji said.
Residents want government to build a bigger clinic that corresponds to the population size and also want the number of nurses increased to be in proportion to the population. They further called on government to also provide them an ambulance, as currently the ambulance has to come from Karasburg, about 200 kilometres away.
//Karas regional director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Barth Muntenda indicated that plans are underway to build a health centre at an identified plot that was availed to government, saying the current setup on the private land does not allow for any further expansion.
“The idea is there to construct a health centre and the feasibility study has already been done and we are just waiting on the report to establish how much it will cost,” he said, adding that it is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Health that will be pursued once funds have been made available.