Ongwediva — Feral cats at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital have become a nuisance as they are in the habit of stealing patients' food.
Patients complained cats are always roaming the wards in search for food regardless of the time of day or night.
"You cannot even leave your food on top of your locker because the cats will eat up your food. We keep our food inside the lockers all the time," said a state patient who only identified herself as Selma. Patients said the cats are attracted to the wards by the smell of food.
"These cats are scary because one does not know whether they are vaccinated or not and sometimes become hostile when we attempt to chase them away," related another patient.
Apart for the struggle for food, patients say the cats' persistent mewing is unnerving and it has become thorn in the flesh.
Chief Medical Officer at Oshakati Intermediate Hospital Dr Korbinian Vizcaya Amutenya said currently, there is nothing being done to get rid of these stray cats.
Amutenya said that is however not to say that the hospital has been idle in this regard, citing that the hospital has implored possible strategies to get rid of the cats in the past, yet all in vain.
"At the moment nothing is being done, we are also just watching them. We have been trying to have them captured but we did not get someone to do that," said Amutenya.
Amutenya said the hospital previously called people who said they had equipment to capture the animals, but no progress was yielded from such presentations.
Sources at the hospital said feral cats at the health facility are on the increase arguing that something needs to be done urgently.
"If nothing is done now, the cat population will grow and then the hospital will no longer be in a position to do anything," complained a source.
The problem of stray cats is not only unique to Oshakati but is a problem in various hospitals across the country.