Kuvukiland’s slow progress to health services development
TSUMEB, 12 AUG (NAMPA) – The Kuvukiland informal settlement community might have to wait for a long while before they can have a fully functioning clinic.
The informal settlement in Tsumeb is receiving services from a prefabricated (prefab) clinic that provides limited health services.
This is because the prefab clinic is built on what used to be a dumpsite and the process of any construction might be lengthy because the site will have to be decontaminated.
Another challenge that the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) faces, is a lack of sufficient clinic space, housing and dedicated areas for specific services not currently available in this community.
Head of the Kuvukiland prefab clinic, Mathias Sipunga in a recent interview with Nampa expressed his appreciation for the prefab, which he said, allows them to offer health services to the community.
He said because of its size, the prefab clinic is only able to provide Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Tuberculosis (TB) treatment services for now but as health workers whose aim is to save lives they strive to provide other services, where possible.
“I wish to appeal to the Ministry of Health and its partners to at least assist us in providing full services as this will uplift the lives of the people.”
Sipunga reiterated the need for a fully functioning clinic at the informal settlement as its current population stands at about 7 000 and the prefab cannot cater for the population.
The United States through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar) have supported the health ministry with funding for 110 prefab structures in seven regions: Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Kavango, Zambezi, Oshikoto and Khomas.
The total funding for these projects is over N.dollars 38 million.
Tsumeb Hospital Senior Medical Officer, Dr Kalala Kabangu explained that before any health services were available at the settlement, the hospital used to be always crowded.
He added that despite their limited sizes, prefab clinics still have the ability to provide all the necessary services to communities, such as Antiretroviral Treatment (ART).
“We do not want to limit ourselves in providing only ART and TB treatment at these prefabs but we want to integrate services in this area too.”
The district only has two other clinics rendering health services to its residents, however in the past few years, two more prefabs were set up and have been satisfactory so far.
Tsumeb District has about 4 000 HIV patients on ART treatment, while TB patients are over 100 currently.
The region’s Health Director, Petrus Hangala told Nampa that despite the slow pace, he is satisfied with the region’s progress on decentralised health provision.
Hangala emphasised how the implementation of prefabs and outreach programmes in the region are contributing greatly towards the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS)/MoHSS 90-90-90 goal.
By 2020, 90 per cent of people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90 per cent of those diagnosed with HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, while 90 per cent of those receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.