U.S, Namibia efforts help complete community clinic
The Minister of Health and Social Services Dr. Barnard Haufiku and the U.S. Ambassador Thomas Daughton in joint partnership last week opened the Onjuva Clinic.
The construction of the clinic building was supported by the United States through the U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. Defense Department has a long history of partnering and providing support at the community level.
In his address Daughton said that the clinic and the accompanying residence are one of several projects the Department of Defense has helped fund. Other projects included the Endombo elementary school near Oshakati, multipurpose community centers in Ongwediva and Walvis Bay, and a borehole for the community of Gove, 30 kilometers west of Rundu.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services first approached the American Embassy in Windhoek for assistance in building a clinic in Onyuva in 2007 with funding to support construction from the U.S. Department of Defense, building work began in late 2009.
“We invested more than N$3 million in the project, but then construction came to a halt in 2011 – when the buildings were about 80% finished because of unforeseen legal complications, ” he said and . the project remained stagnant for the next five years as various legal options to resolve the impasse were being sought.
In 2016 partners at the health ministry decided to provide the remaining funds and complete the project, making the construction of this clinic a joint venture.
“This clinic symbolizes the close partnership between the Ministry of Health and the U.S. government. It is a partnership that has been incredibly successful over the years in working to control the impact of HIV and AIDS in Namibia.”
The partnership, Haufiku said has many other aspects to it, as the clinic symbolises one important strategy that has been central to the partnership in bringing health care services as close to people’s homes.
The United States is the largest foreign contributor to Namibian healthcare, primarily through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. But it is the Namibian government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Services, that invests the majority of health funding, and that investment is what allows communities such as those in Onjuva receive services closer to their communities.
“Together, my government and the government of Namibia have been combating HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases with great success. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and to working together with the Ministry in seeking community-based solutions and health service provision throughout Namibia,“ Daughton said, this clinic is just the latest example of America’s commitment to health not only in Namibia but the world.
Caption: The Minister of Health and Social Services Dr. Barnard Haufiku (l) and the U.S. Ambassador Thomas Daughton (r) and a community member who is set to benefit from the new commuinty clinic.