n Selma Ikela
WINDHOEK – A former South West Africa Territorial Force (SWATF) member camping in Windhoek demanding government recognition as a war veteran is now wheelchair bound following a car crash that left him paralysed on one side.
Urumba Samson Tjakuva, 58, is a member of the Namibia War Veteran (Namvet) who has been camping in Katutura for the past two years demanding government recognition as war veterans. However, the government has refused to recognise them as war veterans
Tjakuva is originally from Opuwo and was camping at commando in Katutura along Clemence Kapuuo together with other former SWATF and former Koevoet members.
Tjakuva was bumped in December along Independence Avenue near Katutura Post Office and was admitted at Katutura State Hospital.
Namvet leader Jabulani Ndeunyema said during a press briefing the doctors at the State hospital decided to keep Tjakuva until his condition worsen and when they saw his condition was bad they transferred him to a local private hospital on March 13. Doctors said there was nothing they could do to Tjakuva apart from offering physiotherapy as the leg was bent, said Ndeunyema.
Ndeunyema said the doctors told them that Tjakuva is completely disabled and it will be impossible for him to return to the base (commando) because of the injuries he suffered.
Ndeunyema said because of head injuries Tjakuva lost 80 per cent of his memory. Tjakuva who is still in hospital is waiting for the hospital to avail a wheelchair before he travels back to Opuwo and live a different life that he led before.
Ndeunyema added that the doctor said had Katutura hospital transferred him earlier his condition would not have worsen. “We are worried and do not know who to blame. Why was the transfer to private hospital delayed? Is it because he is a former SWATF and Koevoet or is it because he is Himba or Herero, those are the sensitive questions. We want to know from Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) and Katutura hospital.
MVA Chief Executive officer Rosalia Martins-Hausiku stated that Tjakuva sustained serious head injuries subsequently unconscious upon the arrival of paramedics at the crash scene. Tjakuva was admitted to the Katutura state hospital neuro/head injury ward.
“We must state at this point that Katutura State hospital has an appropriate facility to deal with a head injury of this nature. The severity of the claimants head injury indicated that he lost most of his brain function with a prognosis of being in a deep coma, in accordance with the explanation of the treating doctors and case notes of the fund’s hospital case managers,” stated Martins-Hausiku.
The CEO added that according to the prognosis Tjakuva was under patient management and care for a period of three months at Katutura hospital-head injury unit.
Martins-Hausiku said Tjakuva required long-term care such as bed physio and caretakers services. Martins-Hausiku further said such, as part of the funds rehabilitation process for seriously injured persons which includes the training of an identified care-giver, the claimants was then transferred to Paramount hospital for the purpose of training his identified care-giver through consultation with family members and continuation of rehabilitation.
“This would be the normal clinical pathway for anyone who would find themselves in the unfortunate situation of Mr Tjakuva, irrespective of their political, religious affiliation of social status.