Government spends N$17 million on Oikokola Primary Health Clinic in Omusati region
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) formally inaugurated the Oikokola Primary Health Clinic last week at the village of Oikokola in the Omusati region.
The clinic is anticipated to alleviate challenges faced by communities and at the same time, achieve the health-related national development goals articulated in Harambee Prosperity Plan II.
The Oikokola PHC was constructed for N$17,984,517.40, and community members will receive free preventive and promotive healthcare services at this facility, as is the case at other health facilities. It comes as the medicines prescribed by health professionals are included in the user fees for treatment.
Inaugurating the new primary health clinic, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, said the clinic would alleviate the challenges that communities face on a daily, especially those concerning accessing health and social services.
This occurred just a day after Namibia celebrated its 33rd Independence Anniversary as a free and sovereign nation. “It is fitting that one day after that celebration, we are gathered here for another celebration of the official opening of a new health facility, the Oikokola Primary Health Clinic, whose construction was funded by the government,” Shangula told the gathering.
The minister further expressed that residents in rural areas such as the village of Oikokola and surrounding areas had to walk long distances to access and receive health care services. He also said, due to these reasons, the government took a conscious and deliberate decision to expand health care to different parts of the country.
According to him, there are now four district hospitals, six health centres, 41 primary care clinics, and 142 outreach points in the Omusati region, and all the fixed healthcare facilities are provided with modern communication infrastructure to facilitate smooth communication.
He added that these facilities provide services and care to the more than 243,000 residents of the Omusati region, according to the 2011 Population and Housing Census.
He also urged residents to adopt the habit of good health and healthier lifestyles or diets by avoiding excessive intake of salt, sugar, saturated fats, and alcohol.
“Communities should establish small-scale gardens where they can grow vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and onions that they can use for relish. Our health professionals will provide health education to the community so that they can use this information to improve their health,” Shangula said.
Meanwhile, the minister pointed out that the ministry will continue strengthening the health systems by upgrading existing infrastructure and developing new health facilities to cater to a growing population.
Furthermore, Shangula said health professionals such as nurses, midwives, doctors, caretakers, and members of the communities must engage in open discussions regarding issues of their health.
Part of the disease prevention services that will be rendered at this clinic will entail immunizations, including vaccination against COVID-19, the minister added.
“Although we have brought COVID-19 under control, we still register few cases. I encourage all community members to adhere to COVID-19 prevention measures and to get vaccinated. Those vaccinated are protected from developing severe illness, especially in an event that a person is exposed to and becomes infected with COVID-19,” he concluded.