Rundu-Rundu Hospital has appointed 36-year-old Dr Joseph Mukerenge, who started on July 3, as their new medical superintendent to head its administration. Dr Mukerenge’s appointment follows the retirement of Dr Yuri Yangazov, who was the medical superintendent of the hospital since 1993 until April this year.
“Officially we have appointed Dr Mukerenge, which is a very good thing to have one of our local guys heading the hospital. I think it’s a good thing that for the first time in the history of Rundu Hospital we have someone heading this hospital who is not only a Namibian, but someone from this region, who grew up here, who knows and understands the culture and background of this part of Namibia,” said Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku.
In 1997, he graduated from ELCIN Nkurenkuru High School in the then Kavango Region and in 1998 enrolled at the University of Namibia, but had to quit as he won a scholarship to go and study medicine in Russia in November that same year. He enrolled at the Peoples Friendship University of Russia in Moscow to begin medical studies and graduated in July 2006.
After graduation, Dr Mukerenge started his career as a medical intern in September 2006 at Katutura Hospital and Windhoek Central Hospital and in September 2007 was appointed medical officer in the Department of Anaesthesia for Katutura and Windhoek Central Hospital, where he soon became the principal medical officer of the department.
Mukerenge later resigned from state practice on and joined a private practice at Diaz Bros Health Centre in Windhoek as a general practitioner, specialising mostly in anaesthesia.
In August 2014, he resigned and made his way home to Rundu, where he became a general medical practitioner in the Rundu Medical Centre, a position he held until he took up office as a medical superintendent for Rundu Intermediate Hospital.
According to the health minister, given that Dr Mukerenge is a native of Kavango who speaks the local languages spoken in this area, the ministry believes he will easily relate to patients. Dr Haufiku also believes the new superintendent will strengthen the Health Ministry and hospitals’ relationship with their patients and the wider public they serve.
“He is also here to learn management, because he is a clinician, a medical doctor who has done clinical work most of his time, but I consider that he is lucky as he has a good mentor, Dr Yuri Yangazov, who has been here for many years, who knows administration, clinical medicine.
“And he has got very good relations with people here, so I consider that Dr Mukerenge is lucky in that regard, as much as we are happy as well as a ministry to have someone like him, a young dynamic fellow to head this hospital. So, I look forward to working with him,” the minister said.
Dr Haufiku, who is on an outreach visit to Rundu Intermediary Hospital, welcomed Mukerenge during his visit to the medical theatre of Rundu Hospital, where he was busy operating alongside other doctors.
“This outreach is a continuation of the medical outreach that we are always having, this time around we have a team at Outapi Hospital that is concentrating mostly on gynaecological outreach, but I was also there up until yesterday (Wednesday) and I was concentrating mainly on removing tonsils.” he said.
“I left a team there of private gynaecologists from Medipark in Ongwediva and two doctors from Ondangwa Private Hospital that came to assist us there in Outapi and I left them there busy with the outreach. They are doing a great job. Another team was starting to roll out the outreach campaign yesterday (Thursday) in Engela Hospital,” Haufiku added.
“They appreciate these services, that’s why I’m saying this outreach must continue. We must support and accept it in our regions, it’s worth it and if you combine it with a strengthened community work programme then the two will complement each other extremely well.
“I will continue to strengthen and support the medical outreaches,” he said.
Dr Haufiku was operating on patients in Rundu Hospital today (Thursday) and would on Friday be at Rundu Medical Centre to operate on patients in need at no cost. “I hope private doctors in future will also operate on patients for us for free,” he joked.