10 August 2018

Namibia: Eye Clinic Gets Medicines, Reopens

THE DELIVERY of critical medicines by the Central Medical Stores has led to the reopening of the country's only referral eye clinic, but there is still a need for critical medical equipment.

Eye specialist Dr Helena Ndume yesterday confirmed that the clinic, situated at the Windhoek Central Hospital, has been reopened, but that equipment was still needed.

Scores of patients came from the regions last week for treatment, only to be turned away and given a number to call to check when they could come back.

They were told that even if they got attention, there was no medicine for them. A lack of communication between departments and the clinic, as well as supply delays by the CMS due to the use of middlemen, were some of the reasons why the clinic had no medicine.

In a bid to contain the situation, health minister Bernard Haufiku last week held a press conference, and called on the public to make donations. This led to local fishing company Ombaye Fishing donating N$100 000, which will now be used to buy critical medicines.

In a press release issued on Wednesday evening, health permanent secretary Ben Nangombe assured the nation that the necessary medicines had been delivered by the CMS, except for one type of medicine that would still be procured.

He added that the issue was speedily resolved due to the committee which was set up within the ministry to identify items needed and ensure the normalisation of operations at the clinic.

"Going forward, the ministry has initiated a direct procurement procedure for the purchasing of critical equipment and instruments needed for the normalisation of the operations at the eye clinic. Items to be procured will be delivered to the clinic before the end of the month," said Nangombe.

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