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Onandjokwe Hospital needs more doctors

Onandjokwe Hospital needs more doctors

Maria David

AN acute lack of medical doctors remains a serious concern in the country’s hospitals and the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital in the Oshikoto Region is no exception.


In fact, indications are that the situation is much worse at this historic health facility that was established by Finnish missionaries more than 100 years ago and was taken over by Government in 2015.


Responding to Informanté’s queries, Senior Medical Officer Siriaji Saaid Rwehumbiza confirmed widespread allegations that the hospital is unable to provide adequate and timely services to patients.


He said that the acute lack of medical doctors is hampering timely health service delivery.


“We want to assist everyone on time but that is not always possible due to lack of doctors. One doctor may see a patient for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the nature of ailment,” said Rwehumbiza.


Pictured: Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Siriaji Saaid Rwehumbiza, at Onandjokwe Lutheran hospital. – Photo: Maria David


Rwehumbiza went on to explain that most of the long queues are the result of the hospital being a referral facility for neighboring clinics and other hospitals. It admits patients from as far away as Okongo in the Ohangwena, Opuwo in Kunene and Outapi in Omusati.


“Our staff is currently numerically insufficient to keep up with the demand,” he said.


The hospital that also caters for out-patients has a bed capacity of 520 and has a total of 700 health personnel.


Rwehumbiza also noted that the construction of a special ward for expecting mothers is still underway.


“We hope that the construction of the new maternity ward will be completed early this year to benefit expecting mothers,” Rwehumbiza noted.


In 2019 the hospital recorded 577 live births and three pre-natal deaths.