Health care at all hours

17 September 2019 | Health

The Katutura Health Centre now operates 24 hours a day, providing care throughout the year. The hope is that extending the facility's operating hours will lessen the pressure on the nearby Katutura state hospital and improve healthcare services in general.
According to the Minister of Health, Kalumbi Shangula, one of the reasons the ministry decided to provide around the clock service at Katutura Health Centre, is to help decongest the Katutura state hospital, so that it may attend to more serious cases and emergencies.
The health centre offers crucial services, with more than 116 000 patients having been assisted during the 2018/19 financial year.
“The ultimate objective is that the health of our people and communities is improved and that they no longer have to travel to the Katutura hospital to access services after hours, especially if those services can be offered and obtained at this facility,” Shangula said.
The official launch earlier this week followed a pilot test phase in August, with medical staff at the centre attending to 3 159 patients.
Shangula said that the testing phase was undertaken without any marketing or awareness-raising, and proved “beyond doubt, that the services are needed and will be fully utilised”.
Situated in Katutura, the facility serves a catchment population of approximately 120 600 people.
The extension of operating hours at the healthcare centre is in response to a pledge to improve services, Shangula said. “We believe that the reduction in congestion will enable our health workers attend to patients better and improve the quality of patient care and recordkeeping.”
To take care of patients, the ministry allocated funding to recruit 26 additional health workers to enable the facility to operate around-the-clock. This includes two medical officers, eight registered nurses, eight enrolled nurses and eight pharmacy assistants.
The facility provides non-emergency services at night, such as the screening of adults and children, follow-up treatments, family planning, stabilisation of emergency cases and more.

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