Health Minister calls on health directors to ensure that Angolan nationals have access to Namibian health facilities

OSHIKANGO: Health Minister Dr Richard Kamwi has called on health directors in the regions sharing borders with neighboring Angola to ensure that Angolan nationals have access to Namibian health facilities.

Kamwi made this call whilst officiating at a belated commemoration of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day held at the northern border town of Helao Nafidi in the Ohangwena Region on Monday.

He singled out Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene north, Kavango East and West as the regions bordering Angola which should attend to Angolan patients who seek medical treatment in Namibia.

He noted that allowing Angolan nationals living along common borders access to local health facilities will put Namibia in a good position with regards to disease surveillance and control.

Kamwi said an increase in the number of patients from Angola being treated for TB in the Ohangwena Region’s Engela Health District has been noticed over the past two years.

He said a third of the patients managed in the Engela District in 2012 and 2013 were from Angola, which brings the total number of TB patients from Angola managed in the Engela District in just two years to 521.

Kamwi, however, expressed concern about the challenge of ensuring that Angolan patients are successfully treated, noting that 63 of the 81 patients who defaulted on their TB treatment in the Ohangwena Region in 2011 and 2012, were from Angola.