Namibia: Mother Takes On School Over 'Isolated' Child

A parent whose child has been in isolation at an Omusati school after allegedly contracting Covid-19 has received backlash from both the school principal and the hostel superintended.

The mother of the 14-year-old girl said the Onawa Secondary School's management did not inform her about her daughter's Covid-19 status. "I learned that my child has tested positive for Covid-19 from the hospital and by then she has already been in isolation for seven days," said the aggrieved parent.

At present, the parent says her daughter is isolated in a hostel block alone and was on Sunday informed that she has now developed diarrhoea. Until yesterday morning, the concerned parent said her daughter was not treated for diarrhoea.

The parent said she has received disturbing backlash from the school principal and hostel superintended for wanting to see her child. "I even went to the school on Saturday so that I see my daughter, but they refused me entry into the school. This has become difficult for me because I don't know what state my child is in," said the mother.

The aggrieved parent alleged that the school principal, Ruth Kayavela questioned what she would have done if she was informed earlier. According to the parent, she further asked Kayavela what she would have done should her daughter have

died. Kayavela allegedly told the parent that if she was dying she was just going to die. Meanwhile, the principal denied all the allegations made against the school and its management.

Kayavela said she sees no wrongdoing on her part as she was informed by the ministry of health officials that they will inform the parent. "All what she is telling you is not true. She must leave us in peace. She must go and look for what she is looking for," said Kayavela. The mother said she now wants to take her child home for better care, as she fears she will subsequently sufferfrom depression. Kayavela said the decision to turn down the request to move the child is in line with the Covid-19 protocols in place. Omusati's director of education Benny Eiseb condemned the conduct of the school.

Eiseb said the parent should have been informed at the time the child was being taken to the hospital. He also said the regional Covid-19 committee will be activated to deal with issues of the pandemic adequately.

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