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Medical museum opens at Onandjokwe

The first hospital in northern Namibia was established at Onandjokwe in 1911 by Dr Selma Rainio.  Dr Rainio was one of the first dozen women in Finland to successfully qualify as a medical practitioner. She travelled to work as a doctor in Namibia in 1908 and stayed here up to her death in 1939.
The Museums Association of Namibia has been working with the Onandjokwe Medical Museum Advisory Committee on the renovation of the old hospital building which will now serve as Namibia’s first medical museum.
The Medical Museum will be officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon. Richard Kamwi, next Friday, 22 March.  The occasion will also see the launch of a commemorative book about the history of Onandjokwe, by the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Finland, Her Excellency Mrs Anne Saloranta.  
The museum opens with two permanent exhibitions featuring the History of Onandjokwe Hospital and Health during the Liberation Struggle.  The advisory committee is appealing to retired medical personal and health organisations to help it expand its collection and exhibitions.
The advisory committee said the museum would like to obtain photographs, stories and old medical equipment to help it tell the broader history of health in Namibia.  Topics that will be covered in the future include the traditional use of plants as medicine, displays on health education, information about opportunities to train to become a nurse or doctor and the history of medicine in different communities across Namibia.  The museum has already received a generous donation of old medical equipment from the Swakopmund Museum and said it hopes to be able to demonstrate the ways in which medical procedures have evolved over time.

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