Eloolo-The nation is urged to support community health workers to assist the health ministry to succeed in its mission to improve and deliver quality public health.
Health and Social Services Minister Dr Bernard Haufiku said the ministry can only overcome the fight against fatal diseases if it deploys community health workers as the first line of defence.
“Before patients come to the clinic, they should have seen one of the community workers,” said Haufiku.
He said the ministry will continue to train and deploy health workers in the community in order to educate the public to prevent themselves from picking up diseases.
The minister said the ministry would go after community health workers who sit under trees waiting for salaries and not perform their duties.
Equally, the minister also called on health professionals to refrain from conducting themselves unprofessionally and using unpleasant remarks when attending to patients.
He said such bad behaviour amongst some health practitioners are keeping patients away from seeking medical help.
“We understand the circumstances you are operating in – it is really a lot of work considering the number of people who come to the hospital, but that should not be used as grounds to mistreat patients,” said Haufiku.
Governor of Oshana Region Clemens Kashuupulwa also appealed to the community to desist from turning away community health workers when they visit their homes.
Emphasising the importance of health workers, Kashuupulwa said the region has already trained 198, while 98 health workers are currently undergoing training.
He said the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) aims to achieve a significant reduction in infant and maternal mortality through the deployment of community health workers, the provision of equipment and essential medical drugs and through ensuring adequate staffing, among other strategies.
The Oshakati Intermediate Hospital last year saw a reduction of eight cases in maternal deaths last year.
Health professionals were also advised to refrain from making unprofessional remarks.