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Debmarine blesses Oshakati Intermediate Hospital with dialysis equipment

Written by on June 10, 2024

Debmarine Namibia handed over haemodialysis equipment at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital on Monday worth N$1,5 million.

The donation includes three haemodialysis machines, three overbed tables, three dialysis chairs and one reverse osmosis machine.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula said the donation complements the ministry’s ongoing efforts to improve the delivery of high-quality healthcare services at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

“It is a vital step in our ongoing mission to strengthen health services across the country. Last year, the cabinet approved a cost plan for mobilization of additional resources to strengthen Namibia’s public health system,” Shangula said.

He added that the plan cost more than N$16 billion and involves the implementation of different interventions such as the renovation, expansion and modernization of physical infrastructure, recruitment of health professionals in different disciplines, procurement of medical equipment and ambulances and other interventions.
Shangula added that other interventions being implemented include the establishment of dialysis units across the country, as well as the establishment of intensive care units in all district hospitals around the country.

He said that the implementation of these projects will bring services closer to the people so that they do not have to travel long distances to receive healthcare adding that it is part of a march towards Universal Health Coverage.

“These vital pieces of equipment will not only alleviate the burden on our existing resources but also improve the quality of care provided to our patients. This donation will significantly enhance our capacity to deliver high-quality dialysis
care for our patients,” he added.

According to Shangula, the ministry is in the process of completing the establishment of a 12-chair dialysis unit here at Oshakati Hospital.

“The completion of the unit means that our patients who need dialysis care will no longer have to travel long distances to receive the service. It also means that the Ministry will realise significant savings by reducing the number of patients who were in the past referred to the private dialysis centres,” the minister said.

Shangula also revealed that the ministry transformed the Old TB-ward into the new dialysis unit at Oshakati.

“This is part and parcel of our strategy to maximize the utilization of facilities to improve services, expand our capacity and improve accessibility to life-saving treatments for our citizens. The unit will open its door in the coming months,” Shangula said.

The minister revealed that available statistics indicate that from April 2023 to April 2024, Oshakati Intermediate Hospital managed 133 new haemodialysis cases.

Statistics further indicate that 35 patients have recovered and 38 are being managed as outpatients.

“However, the hospital had to refer 27 chronic cases to private facilities, three (3) relocated to other Regions. Sadly, thirty (30) patients succumbed to diabetes related causes during that period,” Shangula said.

Speaking at the same event, Debmarine Namibia spokesperson Stella Ipinge who read the Debmarine Namibia chief executive officer Willy Mertens remarks said through their Social Investment Fund Committee, and with the assistance of the former acting superintendent in 2018, learned about the pressing need for haemodialysis machines at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

“I was informed that they (haemodalyisis machines) are vital for treating patients with severe kidney failure, as they perform the essential function of filtering waste, excess fluids and toxins from the blood, when the kidneys can no longer do so effectively. Therefore, haemodialysis machines are indispensable for maintaining patients’ health and supporting their treatment,” Mertens said.

He added that as a result, through the Debmarine Namibia Social Investment Fund, they committed in 2018 to provide our support, not foreseeing the 2019 Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, in 2023 we delivered on our promise by procuring three (3) haemodialysis machines for the hospital including installation, prefiltration and labour. The installation and training was completed by the service genmed technical team, in May 2024. The total sponsorship investment amounts to over N$ 1.5 million,” he said.

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