Emergency medical care at Sesriem
Residents of Sesriem and the surrounding areas will no longer have to travel long distances to access medical services, more so for those injured on road accidents. On 21 November, the Mayte Foundation in partnership with the MVA Fund will officially open the area’s first emergency medical centre at Sesriem, to be known as the Mayte Emergency Medical Centre (MEMC).
The centre was constructed in memory of the late Mayte Fernandez, a Spanish national who passed away as a result of a motor vehicle accident, in which her fiancee, Jean-Charles Hayoz survived on 21 November 2010. The accident occurred on the C27 gravel road towards Wolwedans in the Namibrand Nature Reserve. As part of efforts to keep her memory alive, Hayoz, who is a Moroccan-national of Swiss origin, established the Mayte Fernandez Foundation.
The foundation, registered in Switzerland, has signed a partnership agreement with the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund to promote road safety awareness activities and establish an emergency medical centre at Sesriem. Construction of the centre, which consists of a 10-bed fully equipped clinic, a six-room fully furnished house and two off-road ambulances is nearing completion and will be officially launched by the Minister of Works and Transport, Honourable Erkki Nghimtina next week.
It is envisaged that the centre will provide not only the much needed emergency services to one of the busiest tourist destinations in Namibia, the Soussesvlei and surrounding areas, but also clinical and other medical services required. The plan is to have a doctor and a nurse stationed at the centre to provide these services to the area.
In addition, the partnership will ensure that 100,000 copies of road safety brochures will be printed annually for the next five years and distributed throughout the world to promote road safety in Namibia amongst potential tourists especially the self driving visitors who may not be familiar with the country’s road conditions. The Mayte Foundation will invest over N$10 million in road safety-related interventions in Namibia over the next five years.
Hayoz will be accompanied by about 15 people including his family and that of the late Fernandez to attend the launch of the centre as well as the memorial service to take place at the accident location later that evening.
The official launch will also be attended by key dignitaries representing the government, business community, representatives from the Botswana and Swaziland Motor Vehicle Accident Funds, Road Accident Fund of South Africa, MVA Fund Namibia and the people of Sesriem.