Eenhana-Despite the shortage of health personnel in Ohangwena, the Ministry of Health and Social Services has recorded a TB treatment success rate of 81 percent in the region.
It has also successfully contained 3,078 malaria cases reported in the region during the last financial year.
However, the Governor of Ohangwena Region, Usko Nghaamwa, expressed concern about the reduction in the number of patients currently on anti-retroviral treatment (ART), which decreased from 25,673 in 2015 to 19,887 in 2016.
“The difference has been attributed to defaulting or inconsistent patient follow-ups and migration to other regions without referrals,” said the governor.
Nghaamwa was speaking at his state of the region address at Eenhana on Thursday.
In the quest to fight HIV/AIDS, the governor said eight pre-fabricated community-based ART clinics were constructed in Oshikunde and Okongo constituencies.
The ART clinics are in addition to four clinics constructed during the same financial year and plans to build three other clinics at Ondobe, Omundaungilo and Oshikunde constituencies.
Also praised at the regional address was the education directorate that during the last financial year constructed 40 classrooms and renovated about 47 others. About 25 teachers’ houses were constructed while two hostel blocks were renovated amongst many other infrastructural developments done at schools.
Despite the tremendous progress made in the education sector the directorate is still faced with challenges hampering the provision of quality teaching and learning.
This includes the reduction in development budgetary allocation to almost N$21 million, resulting in the suspension of some capital projects. The sector is further challenged by the high repetition rate in grades one, five, eight and eleven and the high dropout rate of adult learners.
In addition, the directorate of youth development under the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service has trained 57 out-of-school youth in order to improve their livelihood and contribute to food security in the region.
The youth development grant scheme has availed N$50,000 to train more youth.
“This type of training will equip our youth with the necessary skills to enable them to penetrate the labour market,” said Nghaamwa.
In ensuring the region has accessible roads, the Ministry of Works and Transport is busy with the construction of the 71km Etomba-Omundaungilo road.
Nghaamwa reported that work on the Onhuno-Endola tarred road is not progressing well because of a lack of funds.
“The region is covered fairly well with the road network on the western side, however a lot still needs to be done on the eastern side of the region where our people are trekking long distances on sandy bumpy roads to access essential services,” said Nghaamwa.
Despite recording successes in the health sector the region is coupled with challenges of poverty, lack of basic services, youth unemployment, water and network coverage shortage, crime and diseases, amongst others.
The governor appealed to residents and stakeholders in development to remain united and fight social challenges facing the society.