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By: Ketemba Tjipepa

There are only about 13 government ambulances currently serving the Khomas region, an insufficient number given the population’s needs. Those were the sentiments of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) executive director, Ben Nangombe, in a one on one interview with News on One, following an incident where an ambulance allegedly arrived too late. As a result, a 22-year-old woman’s baby reportedly died shortly after she gave birth at her home in Windhoek’s Katutura Damara location. Nangombe shared that the Katutura intermediate hospital has three ambulances, while the central hospital has four ambulances, and the region as a whole operates with six  ambulances, bringing the total number to 13. He stated the aim for the current year is to acquire more ambulances which will be dispersed nationally to address the ambulance shortage. “The number is nearly not enough.If you may have heard the ministry has compiled a cost plan for strengthening of the health system in Namibia. As part of that plan we are going to start procuring ambulances that are going to be distributed around the country.In this financial year we are going to buy 30 ambulances that are going to be distributed around the country,” stated Nangombe. Nangombe also urged pregnant women to attend antenatal care (ANC) at healthcare facilities and to deliver babies in a hospital. “The delivery in hospital is very important and the statistics for Namibia indicate that more than 90% of pregnant women in Namibia do deliver in health facilities, and that is what we encourage all pregnant  mothers to do, so that they do not end up delivering at home or elsewhere. So every effort must be made by each and every pregnant mother to attend antenatal care at the health facility,” said Nangombe.  Nangombe added that in addition to procuring more ambulances, the ministry also aims to renovate health facilities around the country, and boost the recruitment of healthcare workers at an estimated cost of around N$16 billion.

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