The Ministry of Health and Social Services has announced the termination of a N.dollars 26 million tender awarded to a company to construct a neonatal health care facility in Swakopmund.
The ministry decided to build the new neonatal intensive care ward in the Swakopmund Hospital in order to cater for the coastal area and its surrounding areas including Walvis Bay.
The new 28-bed neonatal ward will consist of 12 standard care beds, six high care beds, six intensive care unit (ICU) and four isolation unit beds, along with a 12-bed mothers’ lodging unit.
Currently, the Swakopmund district has a maternal ward with a capacity of 26 beds and four neonatal incubators.
According to Minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula in an interview with the media on Thursday, the tender which was awarded in November 2020, when construction commenced, was cancelled after the company failed to complete the construction in the agreed period of time of February 2022.
‘The tender was awarded to a contractor and the work was supposed to b
e completed but unfortunately there have been challenges with the contract and despite all the remedial actions the ministry instituted, it was not coming to completion. As a result, a decision was taken by the ministry to terminate the contract and we now have to issue a new contract,’ the minister said.
Shangula added that the ministry has revised the scope of work and what needs to be done before appointing a new contractor who will then complete the job.
‘This is critically important because we know from experience that babies and mothers used to be transferred to Windhoek, which usually takes more than three hours to arrive. This puts the lives of both the mother and baby at risk, hence the need to have a place nearby in order to cater for the needs of mothers and babies in these surroundings,’ he said.
He noted that the ministry regrettably acknowledges the delays, however, there is a way forward and the project will be completed in due course.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency