An idle hostel turned into a seclusion facility

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Julia Camarenga

A hostel facility in Otjinene in Omaheke that had been lying idle has been converted into an isolation shelter to help treat Covid-19 patients in one of the worst-hit areas.

The city of Omahiki has been under pressure for the past two months, while its only government hospital facility must serve four times the original capacity, a situation that has led to a search for a place in other facilities.

Because of this predicament, the masses in the region began to search for possible solutions to the major problem, which is facing not only the Ministry of Health, but all the residents of the region in one way or another.

Otjenin identified the hostel, which had been standing idle, and turned it into a 12-bed waiting shelter. Health extension workers are stationed at the shelter, which opened on Monday, with permission from the Department of Health to serve as a community waiting shelter for Covid-19. “I came with an initiative for a community isolation center in Otgenini to relieve pressure on Gubabis, which has the only well-equipped facility in the area,” said regional council member Erwin Katgizio.

“This is also to reduce the hustle of moving every Covid-19 case in need of light healthcare or self-isolation to Gobabis.” Katgizio also expressed his hope
The Ministry of Health supports shelters and meets the community halfway through the provision of human resources and medical equipment.

The shelter will provide isolation for people with Covid-19 who do not have adequate isolation facilities or are at greater risk of infecting family members and the community in which they live. At the shelter, patients will be monitored for signs and symptoms and immune management
Enhancers as well as regular pain relievers when needed.

During the inauguration of the shelter, Deputy Health Minister Otjoa Mwenjangi commended the council member and his team for coordinating the successful achievement of the shelter.

“We remain confident that the Otjinene Covid-19 Waiting Shelter complements the expected ministerial role of providing high-quality and affordable healthcare services to the public and thus relieving pressure on public health facilities.

“This facility will be able to assist all residents of the Omahiki area,” she said. She added that everyone should understand that the fight against COVID-19 should not be left to the health authorities alone, hence the need for community and stakeholder support.

On his part, the Governor of Omahiki, Bijou Nganat, urged stakeholders to start working towards the regional health plan so that they would not be surprised by any prospect. Positive responses and support from community members and stakeholders, traditional authorities, farmers associations, political parties and ministries played a critical role in ensuring that the shelter was equipped with the most valuable items such as gas cylinders, oxygen tanks, personal protective equipment, money, food and sterilizer.

Kavetjiua Karaerua, a resident of Otjinene, was grateful for the development and believed that the refuge would be of great help to the community.

It removes some referrals for isolation on Gobabis from non-critical people and gives a chance for more people to receive prompt help once they are accepted and that could only be possible if people didn’t wait at home until they were critical.

In the end, the deputy minister urged the community to visit their health facilities to get vaccinated as a way to fight the invisible enemy Covid-19.