OPUWO: A shortage of nurses at the Opuwo State Clinic has resulted in people in need of medical attention facing waits of up to three days before they are attended to.
This week, a number of patients who had gone to the clinic on Monday were only helped on Wednesday, while those who showed up later in the week were still waiting to be attended to on Wednesday morning when Nampa visited the clinic.
Antonius Uakapupa, one of the people this news agency spoke to, had been waiting to receive medical attention since the early morning hours of Monday.
“I was sent back home after 17h00 because the two nurses on duty could not attend to us all,” said Uakapua.
He returned to the clinic on Tuesday only to go home without being helped again as only pregnant women are attended to on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“I am here again today and have not been helped up to now,” he stated.
Ikuwa Tjiposa, who had also been waiting since the beginning of the week, said going to the clinic is “a waste of time”.
“It takes us three days to be checked and to give our complaints to the nurse, and if you are referred to the doctor, believe me you will wait for another three days or more to see the doctor at the Opuwo State Hospital,” Tjiposa said.
Approached for comment, the Director of Health in the Kunene Region, Thomas Shapumba said generally, there is a shortage of nurses in the whole country and there is “not much” that can be done about the situation.
He said the situation is worse this week as nurses from the State clinics at Opuwo, Khorixas and Outjo in the Kunene Region are attending a capacity enhancement training course in Otjiwarongo and Windhoek.
He said the training is “very important” and will take the whole week.
When asked what is being done to address the shortage of nurses in the country, Shapumba referred the news agency to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services (Andrew Ndishishi) as he said it is a national problem.