Namibia Receives Pharmacists From Ethiopia

To reduce shortages of health personnel, the Ministry of Health and Social Services has employed 21 pharmacists from Ethiopia as part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed last year.

The pharmacists arrived two weeks ago from Ethiopia and signed a two year renewable contract.

Apart from the Katutura State Hospital, Windhoek Central Hospital, the Namibian Medicines Regulatory Council and the Central Medical Stores, the pharmacists were deployed to Oshakati, Rundu, Tsandi and Opuwo amongst others. The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi yesterday stressed the shortage of health personnel including pharmacists, has a negative impact on the country’s health care delivery.

He said the country has 55 pharmacists working in the public health sector, of which only ten are Namibians, stated the health minister.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the pharmacistopulation ratio should be 1 pharmacist for 2000 people.

“With our population of 2 million Namibians, we need about 1000 pharmacists both in the public and private sector to reach that ratio,” stressed Kamwi.

The minister told the pharmacists to feel at home and work hard.

“We need you to demonstrate your skills. My counterpart (in Ethiopia) told me that he went for the best. Don’t feel isolated,” he said, adding they would be loaded with work.

Kamwi also announced at that occasion that the ministry purchased 25 4times4 Toyota Land Cruisers which have been converted into ambulances.

The ambulances cost the ministry N$ 15 537 million. Apart from the Khomas Region, the ambulances would be dispatched to the Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Kavango, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa and Zambezi Regions.

“I want to appeal to the recipients of these ambulances to take good care of them. They are vital assets. Let us make use of them for the intended purposes,” said Kamwi.

Source : New Era