Canaan residents get health services on their doorstep

GOBABIS: The recent health awareness and promotion event of the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the Omaheke Region has been described as successful.

The event, often referred to as Acceleration Days, was held between Wednesday and Thursday last week in Gobabis’s Canaan informal settlement.

Reree Kauna, a senior nurse in charge of the programme, told Nampa on Thursday that the programme’s objectives were indeed met during the two-day activity.

Residents turned up in large numbers to the mobile health stand set up by nurses and officials of the Health Ministry in Canaan during the two days.

“The main purpose of Acceleration Days is to increase the awareness and knowledge of community members about health-related matters, to emphasise the importance of things such as antenatal care and also to vaccinate children. We felt that all these objectives were met during those two days,” she beamed.

Due to the location of Canaan, which is some 10 kilometres outside the Gobabis town centre, residents often miss out on the provision of health services as they hardly turn up at local clinics for check-ups.

The high unemployment figures at this settlement, where residents practically live on a hand-to-mouth basis, has made it impossible for them to afford transport to health centres, let alone settle nominal consultation fees at clinics.

Kaune further stated that many pregnant women in Canaan do not have access to antenatal care, which increases the risk of stillborn or unhealthy babies being delivered.

“Women here mostly go straight to the district hospital for delivery, without any visible history of antenatal care.

This is a dangerous thing to do, as health professionals need to constantly monitor the condition of both the baby and the mother throughout the pregnancy period,” she noted.

The senior nurse said the activity managed to highlight important aspects relating to the health of Canaan residents, while screening was done for hypertension – a disease Kaune described as going undetected by its sufferers.

The activity also provided an opportunity for HIV testing and counselling for the residents. Canaan is home to approximately 2 000 residents, according to statistics from the local municipality.

SOURCE: NAMPA

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