85% Namibians rely on public health

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85% Namibians rely on public health
85% Namibians rely on public health

Africa-Press – Namibia. More than 85% of the Namibian population depends on public health and social services provided through 322 clinics, 56 health centres, 34 district hospitals, four intermediate hospitals, one national referral hospital and more than 1 150 outreach points.

This was revealed by Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Kalumbi Shangula on Wednesday during an update on the ministry’s performance.

“The population of Namibia has increased from 2 113 077 in 2011 to 3 022 401 in 2023. This increase in population size has implications on the delivery of health and social services, as most of our health infrastructure was established when the population of Namibia was 1.4 million. As the population size increases, so does the health and social needs, which the Ministry of Health and Social Services has to meet in line with her mandate,” he said.

Shangula explained that the ministry received a budget of N$10.9 billion, of which N$10.3 billion is allocated for operational expenditure, while N$457 million is allocated for infrastructure development.

He noted that the total allocation for the medium-term expenditure framework amounts to N$34.3 billion.

The ministry has implemented and is implementing various programmes and projects, and it undertakes activities to expand and improve access to public health and social services, which include the construction of new health facilities, maintenance of existing ones, procurement of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and clinical supplies, ambulances and their accessories.

Shangula indicated that prior to Covid-19, intensive care unit beds were limited to the Windhoek Central, Katutura Intermediate, Oshakati Intermediate and Onandjokwe Intermediate hospitals, with a total number of 35 ICU beds.

To limit referrals to faraway hospitals, the ministry embarked on a project to construct intensive care units at various hospitals. To date, it has installed 97 ICU beds.

Shangula further indicated that the ministry is increasing renal dialysis treatment capacity at seven hospitals to comprehensive modern functional chronic dialysis units with their associated accessories.

He also said the ministry is continuing with the upgrading of medical oxygen network infrastructure at various public hospitals, noting that with its own financial resources, it has procured oxygen-generating systems that have been ins talled at various hospitals across the country.

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