RUNDU, August 8: The Rundu Medical Store, one of the three government-owned medical storage facilities in the region, is confronted with a dire situation as medicines and clinic supplies valued at approximately N$20 million are at risk of spoilage. This predicament stems from a malfunctioning cooling system that has remained unrepaired for the past two years.
As the principal supplier of medicines to hospitals and clinics in the Kavango East and West regions, the facility alerted the National Council Standing Committee on Health to this critical issue. The committee was apprised of the situation, including the fact that the repair cost for the dysfunctional air conditioning system would slightly exceed N$500,000.
Dr. Nelson Olabanji, a key figure at the Rundu Medical Store, revealed that their plea for funding to rectify the cooling system was declined by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The Ministry cited the lack of an emergency situation as the reason for the denial, resulting in some medicines being discarded due to melting caused by unregulated temperatures within the storage space.
Beyond the immediate threat to the medicine inventory, the overall state of the facility has raised concerns. Dusty floors pose a contamination risk to both medical and clinical supplies.
In a compounding healthcare challenge, doctors at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital, the sole referral hospital in the Kavango East region, disclosed that they only receive approximately 58% of the medical supplies they request from the Central Medical Store. This deficit significantly impedes the provision of essential healthcare services in the region.
Furthermore, storage rooms for medicines at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital are also afflicted by malfunctioning cooling systems, heightening the potential for swift spoilage of crucial medicines. These challenges were conveyed by doctors during a dialogue with the National Council Standing Committee on Health, Social Welfare, and Labour Affairs, which is conducting an extended mission in the region.
The unresolved cooling system predicament, combined with broader systemic issues faced by the Rundu Medical Store and Rundu Intermediate Hospital, underscore the pressing need for intervention to safeguard healthcare services delivery in the Kavango East and West regions. The course of action to address this impending crisis remains to be determined.
Meanwhile, Ben Nangombe, the Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, conveyed that the ministry will provide a statement to the media once the parliamentary committee concludes its inspections.
“At this juncture, I have limited comments, but we will issue a press release soon,” Nangombe remarked. – Namibia Daily News