Opuwo to get maternity shelter


Selma Gumbo

Opuwo-As part of its mandate to accelerate the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality rates, the directorate of health in Kunene Region will have a fully-fledged, 60-roomed shelter for expectant mothers by the end of November.

The N$5 million shelter will be constructed under the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMACH).

The funds were made available by the European Union through the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The director of health in Kunene Region, Thomas Shapumba, said the construction of the shelter has been on the cards since 2014, but could not kick off due to the unavailability of land.

Thus, the Opuwo Town Council on Thursday handed over land to the Ministry of Health and Social Services at no cost to construct the much-anticipated shelter.

Shapumba said the shelter will be constructed 500 metres away from the hospital gate to ensure that expectant mothers have quick accessibility to the maternity ward.

Shapumba said the shelter is a dire need for the region because currently expectant mothers trek long distances to be serviced, depriving them of prompt maternal healthcare.

“At the end of the day we want to ensure that there is a healthy mother and a healthy child,” said Shapumba.
According to Shapumba the shelter will not only provide a safe haven for the expectant mothers but will also provide an opportunity to educate the mothers on antenatal, pregnancy and post-natal care.

Also speaking at the event, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Andreas Mwoombola, expressed his concern over the recent incident whereby an elderly woman died while awaiting to be attended to by medical personnel.

He said there was negligence from staff and assured he would get to the bottom of the matter.
“I will investigate this case till I find out what really happened and promise to give you feedback,” said Mwoombola.

*Selma Gumbo is an Information officer working for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Kunene Region.

– Additional reporting by Nuusita Ashipala


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