8 HEALTH Monday, August 14 2017 | NEW ERA Prefabricated clinics making a difference in communities Alvine Kapitako Tsumeb Before the establishment of the Tuberculosis (TB) Directly- Observed Treatment (DOT) center service delivery initiative, which became operational in Tsumeb’s Kuvukiland informal settlement towards the end of July last year, patients had to walk long distances to the hospital. As a result, many people defaulted on their TB treatment, subsequently leading to a high number of defaulters. “When we started here there was no electricity or water. There was no fencing around but we were so thankful that we could start somewhere because we had a high lost to follow up,” said Sylvia Haoses, the Tsumeb district TB and Leprosy coordinator. Senior Medical Officer at the Tsumeb District, Dr Jean Kalala Kabangu added that a burden has been lifted from the hospital since the establishment of the DOT point at Kuvukiland. “Most of our patients are coming from Kuvukiland. We had times where patients were not coming for treatment due to the distance. If we can have a fully-fledged clinic there it would really assist a lot,” added Kabangu. Before the establishment of the DOT point at Kuvukiland, the area used to be a dumping site, added Kabangu. He explained that the area was unfit for to construct a proper clinic as it would cost government a lot. The Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Namibia, Eric Atkins said accessing HIV care and treatment at the community level saves patients time and money, and increases the likelihood that patients will access health services and improves quality of life. “From the perspective of the healthcare provider, it reduces pressure on district hospitals and improves the level of services provided through primary care,” said Atkins. As a result, the healthcare providers can focus their services on sick patients who are in greatest need of attention of a doctor or a nurse, he said. However, one of the challenges is that sufficient clinic space, housing and dedicated areas for specific services is not always available. The U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through its agencies Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provides support to the Ministry of Health and Photo: contributed The prefab at Kuvukiland, an informal settlement in Tsumeb. Social Services to increase its clinic space. This is done through the provision of prefabricated structures that can be used as clinics, TB DOT sites, TB and HIV integrated services sites and modular housing for employees of the health ministry. Through the Cooperative Agreement (COAG) with CDC, the US government has provided 65 prefab structures at 30 sites in six regions. These are Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Kavango, Zambezi and Khomas. “USAID, through its implementing partners KNCV and IntraHealth, have also supported the Ministry of Health and Social Services with the provision of prefabricated structures, providing a total of 45 units,” said Atkins. The total funding provided for these projects is over N million. REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, ARTS AND CULTURE National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) INVITATION TO SUBMIT TEACHING AND LEARNING SUPPORT MATERIALS FOR THE NAMIBIA SENIOR SECONDARY CERTIFICATE ORDINARY LEVEL (NSSCO, GRADES 10-11) NIED invites suitably qualified publishers to submit learning support materials (textbooks and supplementary materials) for all subjects of the NSSCO for evaluation and approval. Registered companies should attach the following documents: A valid Original Certificate of Good Standing from the Receiver of Revenue and a valid certificate of registration issued by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development. The Terms of Reference are obtainable from NIED, Voortrekker Road, Okahandja or via email: (firstname.lastname@example.org). The closing date for submissions is 30 March 2018 at 14h00. The closing time for submissions will be strictly observed. For further information, please contact: Mr P. Simalumba, Tel. 062-509020 Email: email@example.com Address of submission venue: Contact Person: Mr P. Simalumba NIED, Voortrekker Road, Okahandja Kamanjab health centre needs more staff WINDHOEK The millions of dollars Government poured into upgrading the Kamanjab Clinic to a health centre will be a waste if the relevant ministry fails to employ more staff. This was the view of community members who attended a public hearing by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs at Kamanjab on Thursday. Godhard Kasuto, Deputy Chairperson of the committee and head of the delegation, said the newly upgraded health centre still operates like a clinic due to a shortage of staff. He told this agency on Friday the community complained that the centre, upgraded at a cost of about N million, does not have enough medical staff. An official of the Directorate of Health in Opuwo, who declined to be named because he is not allowed to speak to the media, told Nampa the centre is supposed to have at least one medical doctor, three enrolled nurses, two registered nurses, an ambulance driver, an operational ambulance, one institutional worker, a pharmacist, an institutional worker, an administrative clerk, a cook and a HIV counsellor. According to the official, a health centre should be operational for 24 hours and staff should work shifts. The centre currently only has one registered nurse, three enrolled nurses, one ambulance driver and a cleaner, who doubles as an administrative clerk, the official said. Another concern of the community is that the ambulance can only be driven on a tarred road. This means it cannot collect patients at clinics such as the one at Anker settlement, situated about 70 kilometres west of Kamanjab. Kasuto said the situation had resulted in the ambulance driver travelling about 900 kilometres a day between Kamanjab and Outjo transporting patients. “Imagine this poor driver has to cover the distance of 155 kilometres between Outjo and Kamanjab almost three times a day transporting patients,” a worried Kasuto said. He promised that the concerns will be processed to the relevant authorities for consideration. Nampa also spoke to the Chairperson of the Kunene Regional Council and Councillor of the Sesfontein Constituency, Julius Kaujova, who said the allocation of clinics to regional hospitals put patients at risk. According to Kaujova, the clinic at Erwe settlement is allocated to the Khorixas District Hospital, while it is situated about 40 kilometres west of Kamanjab. He recalled an incident where a patient who was stabbed with a knife had to wait for about six hours for an ambulance to come from Khorixas. “It took this patient 12 hours to be attended to by a doctor while the situation could have been better if the ambulance came from Kamanjab which is nearer than Khorixas,” a concerned Kaujova said. – Nampa
NEW ERA | CRAN interventions to expand network coverage Page 10 SA’s mining and manufacturing production declined in June Page 11 INSIDE BUSINESS This news is your business Failure to buy six planes ‘will negatively affect’ Air Nam’s operations Edgar Brandt Windhoek Air Namibia has confirmed that it intends to purchase six Embraer jets, ERJ 135 and ERJ145, to replace current aircraft lease agreements and hopes to take possession of the new aircraft in January and April 2018. However, Air Namibia manager for corporate communications Paul Nakawa could neither deny nor confirm the reported purchase price of N0 million, saying it is normal aspect of any transactional business and that the airline is adhering to non-disclosure clause, as per the terms of the sales agreement. “Yes, the board did approve the acquisition of the six aircraft, because it makes business sense to improve our balance sheet with the acquisition of assets that contribute 100 percent percent to our daily operations,” said Nakawa. He added that a Cabinet submission was already prepared and that it was up to Cabinet to provide further directives to the airline, as the government wholly owns Air Namibia – hence government currently pays for the current aircraft leases. Nakawa noted that Air Namibia hopes to conclude the sales agreement as soon as possible, saying “failure to do so will have a negative impact on our operations and on the schedule integrity if we do not have aircraft for our utilisation”. Currently, all Air Namibia’s Embraer aircraft are serviced at Eros airport by the airline’s own engineers. Also, all of Air Namibia’s pilots are trained on these Embraer aircraft. The airline already has crew trained to operate the ERJs. Once the new aircraft are in the Air Namibia stable they will service the domestic and some of regional routes serviced by the current ERJ fleet in operation. The Namibian newspaper reported recently that Air Namibia’s management committee recommended that the airline buy the six planes for almost N0 million. According to a document cited by the paper, entitled ‘Procurement committee submission request for proposal in supply of six Embrear regional jet aircraft’, Air Namibia’s aircraft selection commit- Photo: Contributed On the list… The ERJ 135 is one of the aircraft that Air Namibia hopes to take ownership of by early next year. Photo for illustration only. tee apparently looked at whether the airline should buy new planes, or continue leasing. According to its website, Air Namibia operates a fleet of ten aircraft: two Airbus A330-200 for the international route; four Airbus A319-100 for regional routes and four Embraer ERJ 135 Embraer for domestic routes. The airline owns two Airbus A319-100, with a seating capacity of 112. The individual lease agreements of the four Embraer aircraft end next February, April, May and June. The initial expiry date of the agreements were January, April, May and June last year, but the leases were extended twice for 12-month periods. The management committee said purchasing similar aircraft would minimise or eliminate losses arising from lease payments, and allow for maintenance reserves to be recorded as contingent investments and not expenses, as was currently the case. They also claim that buying would eventually minimise the need for “regular government financial bailouts”. They added that purchasing aircraft had the least funding hurdles, was the least expensive option, and would strengthen the airline’s balance sheet. ICT Summit to unlock economic opportunities Edgar Brandt Windhoek The fourth National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Summit was launched in the capital on Friday by ICT Minister Tjekero Tweya. This year’s summit will take place from October 9 to 11 under the theme ‘Leveraging ICT to unlock Economic Opportunities for an Inclusive Society’. The event, which will be held at the Namibia Institute for Public Administration and Management (NIPAM), will bring together all ICT industry stakeholders to reflect on ICT trends, opportunities, innovations and challenges facing the local and global industries. “As we may all be aware information and communication technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. ICT plays a vital role in any society thus we, as the government of the Republic of Namibia, must ensure that we keep abreast with technological developments and trends. “Our ICT industry has grown in leaps and bounds during the past few years and as a country we are rated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Measuring Information Society ICT Minister Tjekero Tweya Report 2016 as one of the most dynamic countries in Africa,” said Tweya at the launch. He added that Namibia is fortunate to be one of the few African countries to have access to the West Africa Cable System (WACS), as this provides higher bandwidth capacities to mobile and internet users. “We as a country boast as one of the countries with the Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A), which provides the population with faster data and internet services. Furthermore, our country has made progress in expanding its fibre network footprint,” Tweya added. Also speaking at Friday’s launch, permanent secretary in the ICT Ministry Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said the industry has been at the forefront in bridging the digital gap, bettering the lives and livelihoods of Namibian citizens through libraries, mobile devices, TV, radio, computers and related technologies. “I would like to encourage all players in the ICT industry to participate and be more involved in this year’s ICT Summit. May we work together and do better than last year in order to ensure that this very impactful industry is well developed,” he said. Activities planned for this year’s summit include presentations and statements on issues pertaining to ICT, while a full day will be dedicated to the youth to exhibit and showcase their talents and innovative ideas.