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Otavi patients get own wheelchairs, some for the first time in 20 years

Otavi patients get own wheelchairs, some for the first time in 20 years

The lives of two physically disabled patients of the Otavi Clinic took a dramatic turn for the better this week when both received new wheelchairs as part of a gesture to support local healthcare services from a German charity in cooperation with a Namibian manufacturer.

Thomas Garoëb could hardly believe his good fortune when his derelict wheelchair of the past ten years was replaced with a brand new one. He immediately, with the help of some dignitaries, settled into his new wheeled seat, exceedingly greatful for the improvement in his mobility.

Jessica Naobes, another of the clinic’s regular patients, for the first time in her life, received her own wheelchair. She has always had to be carried around by family members but this week she gained a means of gradually developing her own ability to move about. She has never had the privilege of going where she wants and was keen to build her strength so that she can wheel herself around.

The two wheelchairs, donated by the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust in collaboration with German charity, Support Ulm e.V, are part of a bigger consignment of some 20 wheelchairs availed to the clinic in Otavi and to disabled patients from the nearby abandoned Kombat mining town.

The donated wheelchairs are the result of a Technical Corporation Agreement between Support Ulm e.V., Ohorongo’s community trust and the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The agreement makes provision for medical equipment and the exchange of medical professionals, to support local facilities.

Expressing the wish that the wheelchairs will help the clinic and its patients to be more productive, the Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement, Mr Hans Wilhelm Schütte said they are intended to improve the lives of disabled people giving them acces to service and mobility.

“Mr. Schütte, please convey our gratitude to Support Ulm e.V. and the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust. You have set yet another good example in contributing to the Harambee Prosperity Plan, providing for the wellbeing of our people. Please assure your partners that the wheelchairs will be put to good use,” said the Mayor of Otavi, Her Worship Cllr Martha Shipanga who received the chairs on behalf of the clinic.



About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.