RUNDU: Health and Social Services Minister Dr Richard Kamwi says no woman should die while giving birth at hospitals in the country.
Addressing staff members of the Rundu Intermediate Hospital on Friday, the Health Minister admitted that maternal deaths are prevalent in hospitals because some health officials do not response timeously, while others have a tendency of reporting to work late.
“I don’t want to be informed through the media that a woman has died while giving birth, I should be informed by the management,” said Kamwi.
The Health Minister stated that his ministry is doing well in terms of infrastructure development, especially with regards to transport where he said the ministry has more ambulances now than at any time in the past.
He said he was also satisfied with the services at the Rundu pharmaceutical department, as he was informed that patients wait for only about 20 to 30 minutes before receiving their medication.
Kamwi, who paid a surprise visit to the Rundu hospital, part of which was to observe whether staff arrive for work on time, noted that there has been an improvement in this aspect as only one health official out of 200 staff members reported for work late on Friday.
This is a big improvement compared to some five years ago, when the minister also paid a surprise visit to the hospital and observed about 35 nursing staff reporting for work late.
The Health Minister urged the hospital’s management team to intensify supervision at the wards and administration departments there instead of just “sitting comfortably in their air-conditioned offices”.
He indicated that although the country is faced with challenges such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, Namibia is being praised world-wide for its response to these challenges, especially with regards to treatment, care and support provided to patients.
Given the fact that the country is faced with a shortage of medical doctors and other specialists, the Health Minister encouraged parents to encourage their children to take up mathematics and science which would enable them to study medicine.
Dr Kamwi noted that of the 25 medical doctor posts at the Rundu Intermediary Hospital, 17 are filled by expatriates.
He also said of the 81 registered nurse posts there, 41 have been filled, leaving 40 vacant.