Namibia: Rundu Gets N$53m Maternity Ward

24 November 2020

Rundu — The long-awaited refurbishment of the maternity ward at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital has finally been completed after construction started six years ago.

Expectant mothers at times had to endure sleeping on the floor and corridors of the maternity ward due to a lack of space.

This will be a thing of the past now as government availed N$53.7 million towards the construction of the maternity ward.

"The maternity ward that I commission today was conceived and built with the aim to address the challenge of limited space in caring for mothers to deliver their babies in a safe and conducive environment, where they are able to receive the care that they need," said health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula during Friday's inauguration.

"This facility has added to the capacity of this hospital to provide care for delivering mothers. It will also go a long way in reducing maternal and new born mortalities."

The new maternity ward comprises of several components which include a theatre, postnatal and antenatal wards, neonatal unit, isolation unit, mother's lodges, offices and consulting rooms.

The contract for the upgrading and extension of the ward was initially valued at N$44.8 million when it was awarded to the contractor. The site handover ceremony took place on the 9 April 2014 and the original practical completion was set for 22 July 2015.

However, the contract had to be extended due to technical and financial constraints.

"By April 2016, the project was still not complete. The ministry was informed by the project quantity surveyor that the funds remaining on the budgetted amount were insufficient to complete the outstanding works," Shangula said.

According to Shangula, the amount required additionally to bring the project to completion during the last halt was estimated at N$8.9 million which increased the contract amount to N$53.7million.

"In order to bring the works to practical completion, the ministry held meetings with the contractor and the appointed consulting engineers in April 2017 and June 2017 respectively. This resulted in a negotiated all-inclusive adjusted contract amount to be submitted to the ministry," he said.

In September this year, the contractor was able to complete the project.

"I wish to emphasise that access to health facilities and outreach services remains the core for health service delivery. The ministry and government at large remain committed to the development and expansion of health facilities and services in all parts of the country," Shangula noted.

Shangula further said the ministry will prioritise and accelerate the completion of several capital projects that have been delayed for a number of years.

Other delayed projects around the country include, the Nkurenkuru clinic and Gcaruhwa clinic, Shamaturu clinic, Linyanti clinic, Epupa clinic, Schlip clinic, Aranos health centre accommodation, Okahao hospital outpatient department, Keetmanshoop TB ward and Okahandja hospital outpatient department, Okakarara hospital laundry and kitchen, St. Mary's hospital laboratory, Katutura hospital pharmacy and Onandjokwe maternity ward.

"I am pleased to report that decisive steps have already been taken and contractors have returned to site or new contractors appointed to complete outstanding works at several of these projects," he said.

The health minister also informed the event that the ministry will soon receive six aediatric specialists who recently completed their studies abroad and Rundu would benefit from them as soon as their re-deployment to public health facilities around the country is affected.

- jmuyamba@nepc.com.na

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