First spinal cord injury unit at Windhoek Central
The Ward has 6 qualified staff members and is is equipped to deliver critical rehabilitation treatment that will add value towards life enhancement for people with spinal cord injuries. During his vote of thanks at the official opening of the unit, Deputy Chairperson of the MVA Fund, Clive Kavendjii said the establishment of the ward is a profound achievement for the country because of the MVA Fund’s many dependants who suffer spinal cord trauma. These patients will be able to receive the same level of treatment offered by private hospitals at the Central Hospital, and it will be affordable. “Although the main focus of the spinal cord unit is to provide a better everyday life for people with spinal cord injuries, it will also produce financial benefits for both the state and the MVA Fund. In terms of the Fund, medical expenses remain the highest cost driver for the institution, he explained. Having the spinal cord injuries treated here at the state rates which are lower will subsequently reduce our medical expenses and contribute to the Fund’s long- term financial sustainability,” he added. Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health and Social Services, Richard Kamwi, the Medical Superintendent at the Windhoek Central Hospital, Dr. Saara Shalongo said the opening of the ward is both critical and timely as cases of spinal cord injuries are increasing thereby exerting pressure on the health system. “Spinal cord injuries are among the most common type of injuries sustained following trauma emanating from various activities including motor vehicle crashes. In terms of road crashes, our country records over 3000 road traffic crashes resulting in more than 5000 injuries annually, which include many spinal cord injuries,” she said.
She said, because of insufficient capacity in the state services, most cases [spinal cord injuries] were often referred to private facilities which are costly and therefore only affordable by a selected few. “The benefits to be derived from having this ward here at the Windhoek Central Hospital are immense. But central to that is the fact that [the health] ministry will now be able to deliver effective rehabilitation and life enhancement for patients who suffered spinal cord injuries, at a lower cost,” she said.