Windhoek-The councillor of Opuwo Rural constituency, Kazeongere Tjeundo is concerned with the long queues at hospitals and clinics in Opuwo and the surrounding areas, saying the health leadership in the region is partly to blame.
Speaking to New Era on Friday, Tjeundo referred to the recent incident where a 58-year-old woman from Okavare Ka Tuvero, situated in the Opuwo rural constituency, died while waiting to be attended at the Opuwo state hospital.
He said the poor management is partly to blame because the health professionals at the hospital and other health facilities in the region tend to help on a first come, first served basis rather than to attend to the critically ill patients first.
“Whether you are critically ill or not you are told to wait in the queue. I condemn that in the strongest terms,” said Tjeundo.
Fortunately, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Dr Andreas Mwoombola met the hospital management as well as the leadership of the region last Thursday.
Together with the political leadership and hospital management, they sought solutions to the health problems in the region.
“The major problem lies with the health director of Kunene region and the nurse manager at Opuwo hospital. We need a change of leadership at Opuwo hospital and for nurses to revisit the Florence Nightingale pledge,” said Tjeundo.
He said they would wait for a few weeks to see if things will change for the better, following the meeting that took place with the permanent secretary, after which they would take up the matter again.
Tjeundo said that there is a need for a health training centre in Opuwo as well as for the hospital in Opuwo to be made a referral hospital.
“We were told that it would be turned into a referral hospital by 2020. For now, patients with critical ailments are referred to Oshakati hospital,” said Tjeundo.
Furthermore, the councillor said the hospital and clinics in Opuwo operate from 08H00 to 17H00.
“But the casualty department at the hospital is open 24/7,” he added. Still, patients are not attended to at all days.
“Sometimes you will find the health personnel only attending to children and on those days only children are attended to and then you find that only pregnant women are attended to and only they are attended to and then you find that elders are attended to and on those days children and pregnant women are not attended to. We condemn that situation,” added Tjeundo.
Mwoombola was not reachable on his phone while the health director of Kunene region, Thomas Shapumba, refused to comment, referring all queries to Windhoek.