… Just a few years after it was gifted by the Chinese govt
By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Omuthiya District Hospital is still undergoing a raft of renovations and alterations, barely four years after opening its doors.
The 64-bed hospital, which was given as a gift by the Chinese government, is also not yet fully operational, due to incomplete construction work.
A new maternity ward and a theatre room are being constructed, while some wards are under renovation.
Oshikoto Regional Governor, Henock Kankoshi, revealed this during his State of the Region Address last week.
“Omuthiya Hospital is still not fully functional, due to a need for some renovations and alterations. The need for a maternity waiting shelter is also a point for consideration, when opening the maternity hospital; this should be done in collaboration with other stakeholders,” he said.
Kankoshi said that the health ministry is also busy revamping the air conditioning at the hospital, at a cost of more than N$400 000.
“A purchase order for the air conditioning work is issued. Work is in progress, but some delays were experienced, due to spare parts being imported,” he said.
Repairs to the electrical wiring were completed last year, at a cost of more than N$200 000.
The N$70 million hospital has not been officially commissioned by the Namibian government, because there are some departments that do not conform to Namibian Standards Institute (NSI) requirements.
The Namibian government forked out N$6 million for renovations, to rectify construction faults, before the hospital became partially operational.
The hospital has been under construction since before 2010 and many of the instructions on the medical equipment is written in Chinese.
Oshikoto Regional Health Director, Peter Angala, said that he could not divulge any information regarding the status of the hospital, as he is apparently not allowed to talk to the media.
Efforts to get comment from health ministry spokesperson, Ester Paulus, proved futile.
The construction of the hsopital started in 2009 and the contractor handed it over to the government in 2012.
At this stage, the hospital only attends to emergency cases and observations, while referral patients are seen at the Onandjokwe Hospital.
Once it is fully operational, the Omuthiya District Hospital will comprise a laboratory, TB ward, maternity ward, pharmacy, eye and dental clinic, mortuary, casualty department, outpatient department, primary healthcare clinic, a centre for disease control and prevention, an X-ray department and a paediatric ward.
The region has experienced an upsurge in the number of confirmed malaria cases recently.
During 2016/17 the region has so far recorded 888 cases and five deaths, with four deaths recorded at the Onandjokwe Hospital and one at the Tsumeb Hospital.
Most cases were reported at the Omuthiya District Hospital (359), while Onandjokwe Hospital recorded 282 cases and Tsumeb Hospital 247.
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