Shortage of ambulances in Otjozondjupa turning into crisis

The Otjozondjupa Regional Health Director, Gebhardo Timotheus on Wednesday described the shortage of ambulances in the region as reaching crisis level.

Timotheus told Nampa in an interview on Wednesday that all the four ambulances stationed at major State hospitals at Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Okahandja and Okakarara are broken down.

‘These ambulances are old with high mileages of about 500 000 kilometres, which is a big risk to patients and our drivers,’ he said.

Timotheus further stated that 90 per cent of the Otjozondjupa health directorate budget since 2022 has been channelled towards maintenance and repair of these unreliable and breakdown-prone ambulances of the four district hospitals.

He warned that the situation is dire as the only ambulance, based at Tsumkwe, is sometimes recalled to assist at the Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja State hospitals.

‘Worse at some points when we receive emergency calls of accidents on the B1 road while we have a broken ambulance at Otjiwarongo. This really
worries us a lot as one day we might fail to respond and result in a nation losing many people’s lives,’ he said.

Otjozondjupa Governor, James Uerikua on Monday when he received at his office a delegation of medical doctors working for the United States of America’s (US) Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia, also expressed similar concerns.

Uerikua urged the delegation to consider through discussions the critical health needs including the lack of ambulances at the four health administrative districts in the region.

On his part on 16 April 2024 at the ground-breaking for the construction activities of the Ombili clinic in Otjiwarongo, Executive Director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe announced that his ministry intends during this 2024/2025 financial year to purchase 20 ambulances, and that Otjozondjupa Region would also benefit once they are distributed.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Project Hope working to expand reach to vulnerable children

Project Hope Namibia has come up with a new project to help young people living with HIV in Namibia.

Project Hope Namibia spokesperson Fillipus Absalom informed Nampa in an interview on Tuesday about the Reach Namibia project that started in February this year, that aims to avert new infections for young people and improve treatment outcomes for HIV positive young people. This is by increasing access to comprehensive HIV prevention and impact mitigation services.

He said they want to help young people at risk of HIV and violence by increasing their access to Family Planning services.

‘We want to increase access to biomedical HIV prevention services including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms, HIV testing services and referral for voluntary male medical circumcision for orphans and vulnerable children, boys and sexual partners,’ said Absalom.

He added that the project also helps one to have the opportunity to gain new knowledge on HIV, build resilience and understand violence prevention and the bene
fits of HIV treatment adherence.

One of the project’s Oshikoto representatives, Melody van der Merwe said she assists vulnerable children between the ages of 10 and 24 years who are in school as well as school dropouts.

‘We provide them with stationery, school uniform, soap and pads and solar lights through the Reach programme,’ she said.

Van der Merwe is currently focusing on schools in the Oshivelo circuit in the region and they have assisted six schools so far.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Police officer helps woman give birth along the road

RUNDU: Warrant officer, Joel Hamukoto of the Namibia Police Force (NamPol) in the Kavango West Region on Sunday morning helped a woman deliver a baby along the road near Mpungu village in the Kavango West Region.

NamPol Chief Inspector Raimbert Muronga confirmed the incident in the daily crime report on Monday that Hamukoto was driving from Namasira Police Checkpoint at Mpoto village, when he found the woman giving birth.

Muronga said the woman was looking for transport to take her to the nearest clinic.

Hamukoto was allegedly on his way to fetch water for his staff at the Namusira Police Checkpoint when he saw the pregnant woman along the road.

He then observed that the woman was ready to deliver the baby.

After assessing her condition, he then drove to Mpungu clinic to get a health professional who would further assist her as the baby’s head was already crowning.

The woman allegedly gave birth without any complications with the help of the health professional and they were both driven back to the clin

They were both admitted to the Mpungu Clinic and are now receiving the necessary medical treatment.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

CDC delegation pays courtesy visit to Uerikua

OTJIWARONGO: A delegation of medical doctors working for the United States of America’s (US) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia, paid a courtesy visit to the Otjozondjupa Governor, James Uerikua on Monday morning at his office in Otjiwarongo.

The delegation was led by the US CDC Country Director in Namibia, Dr Brian Baker, together with his deputy, Dr Benjamin Monroe, as well as some chief health programme officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Baker briefed Uerikua on the purpose of the visit, saying the team is in the region to conduct some routine technical oversight checks on the programmes being supported by the Windhoek-based US CDC Nambia office.

According to Baker, most of the programmes receiving support from his office are related to Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/Aids.

‘Our weeklong visit intends to travel to the areas of Tsumkwe, Gam and Mangetti Dune health facilities in order for us to learn from the team on the ground and then determine how best we wou
ld support them,’ said Dr Baker.

Uerikua on his part urged the delegation to consider through discussions the critical health needs of the region and the lack of ambulances at all four health administrative districts in the region.

The visit, which started on Monday, will end on Friday.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Eastern Regional Health Directorate raises public awareness about maternal mental health

The Eastern Regional Health Directorate has organised a street float in Koforidua to create awareness on maternal mental health.

Maternal mental health can be referred to as a mother’s overall emotional, social, and mental well-being, both during and after pregnancy.

Dr Wilfred K. Ofosu, Eastern Regional Health Director, said the mental well-being of mothers directly impacts the health and development of children, the strength of families, and the stability of communities.

Yet, despite its significance, maternal mental health remains stigmatised, underreported, and inadequately addressed.

He said factors that can create mental challenges for mothers are hormonal changes, financial stress, societal pressures, and the responsibility of caring for a new life.

‘As healthcare professionals, the time has come to make a bold commitment to integrating maternal mental health into routine health delivery,’ he said.

‘Our actions today have the power to transform the lives of countless mothers and children for gene
rations to come.’

However, he urged, ‘Let us not forget the importance of self-care and support for our own healthcare professionals. The work we do is emotionally demanding, and we must prioritise our own mental well-being to be effective advocates and carers for others.’

The director highlighted key measures to address maternal mental health challenges.

These measures emphasise the importance of equipping frontline providers with the necessary training and tools to identify signs of maternal mental health disorders and provide compassionate and effective interventions.

The Ministry of Health should actively engage with policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to promote policies and programmes that prioritise maternal mental health.

Dr Ofosu said the policy should encompass various provisions such as affordable healthcare, insurance coverage, childcare support, and specialised mental health services for mothers.

In her address, Nana Ama Awi II, Queen Mother of Asokore and the Benkum Div
ision of the New Juaben Traditional Area, said that raising awareness, eradicating stigma, and fostering a culture of empathy and understanding could create a world where every mother feels seen, heard, and valued.

The street float started from the premises of the Ghana Health Service through the principal streets of the New Juaben South Municipality to Jubilee Park.

Some inscriptions on the placards said maternal mental health disorders are a challenge in Ghana; husbands, support your wives during pregnancy and childcare; implement policies aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination surrounding maternal mental health; and the rest.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ho Teaching Hospital gets 3rd incubator from Kokrokoo Charities Foundation

The Kokrokoo Charities Foundation, an NGO, under its ‘Project 100’ initiative, has donated a third incubator to the Paediatrics and Child Health Department of the Ho Teaching Hospital in the Volta Region.

This adds to two previous incubators given to the Hospital by the Kokrokoo Charities in 2018, making it a total of three incubators given to the Hospital by the Foundation.

The incubator adds up to a total of 55 incubators so far donated by the Foundation to various hospitals all over the country.

The incubator would help the Department provide optimal care for preterm babies, that is children born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

In addition to the incubator, they also presented two fridges, sanitary tissues, scraps, crocs, cover coats, and mobile phones to the Hospital.

Dr Richard Bright Danyoh, Head of the Department, Paediatrics and Child Health Unit of the Hospital, said the incubator and the other items would add to their stock and help them offer better services to preterm babies.

Dr Danyoh said th
e hospital recorded an average of 250 to 300 preterm births yearly.

However, with the coming of the incubators, they were able to care for an appreciable number of them.

He said there has been an increase in the survival rate of preterm babies at the hospital, especially those below 28 weeks, with their mortality rate dropping to 15 per cent between 2022 and 2023.

Dr Danyoh appealed to the Foundation and other benevolent persons and institutions to establish a hostel to accommodate mothers of preterm babies, since they had nowhere to lodge during their waiting periods for their incubated preterm babies.

Mr Kwami Sefa Kayi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kokrokoo Charities Foundation, said he was hopeful that together with his team and benevolent supporters, he would be able to meet his vision of acquiring 100 incubators in the long run to aid healthcare delivery in the country.

He commended his partners and friends who supported him financially in acquiring the incubator, especially the owners of
Villandro Residence and Teddy’s Irish Pub and Lodge.

He said what kept him going was the satisfaction he got from saving the lives of preterm babies.

The Kokrokoo Charities Foundation is a social intervention initiative set up by Mr Kayi, presenter of Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning Show, and aimed at identifying and addressing critical social needs in Ghana and helping resolve emerging development challenges.

The Foundation’s project 100 incubators initiated in 2014 has saved many preterm babies across the country through its donations of infant incubators to boost neonatal care across the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kpone-Katamanso Health Directorate holds 2023 Annual Performance Review

The Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Health Directorate has reviewed its 2023 performance scorecards to assess its improvement or otherwise in service delivery in the year under review.

Dr Esther Priscilla Biamah-Danquah, the Municipal Health Director, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the performance assessment against the previous year’s was very important in ensuring efficient and quality health service delivery.

It would also help in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the Directorate and how to maximise its gains to meet the health demands of the people, she said.

Dr Biamah-Danquah said though 2023 was very challenging, the Directorate made some gains on some selected Out-Patients Department (OPD) indicators compared to 2022.

Whereas 169,273 OPD cases were seen in 2022, a total of 181,907 were attended to in 2023, representing per capita cases of 0.39 and 0.41, respectively.

Acute urinary tract infection cases were 7,983 in 2022 and 13,638 in 2023, with uncomplicated malaria ca
ses shoting up from 9,966 in 2022 to 12,271 in 2023.

Dr Biamah-Danquah said institutional maternal death within the municipality had seen a sharp decline from 51 per cent per 10,000 births in 2022 to 46 per cent per 10,000 births in 2023.

Stillbirths also reduced from 3.8 per cent in 2022 to 3.6 per cent in 2023.

She noted that health delivery services were evolving, therefore, the workers must acquaint themselves with the modern trends in health delivery services to meet current demands.

‘The performance review will bring out the areas where staff would have to be given continuous training to build their capacity to improve quality healthcare in the municipality,’ the Municipal Health Director said.

She called on the Kpone-Katamanso residents to support health institutions and workers in their localities to ensure a conducive environment for health delivery.

Some hard-working staff were presented with plaques in appreciation of their commitment to service delivery within the municipality.

Source: Gha
na News Agency