140 Caregivers Graduate

CAREGIVERS who graduated in Windhoek on Saturday might find themselves jobless if the Ministry of Health and Social Services does not intervene on their behalf.

Head of the National Caregivers Association of Namibia, Theresia !Aochamus said this at the sidelines of the graduation of 140 caregivers at the Habitat Centre in Katutura.

!Aochamus said her association has written to the health ministry seeking assistance regarding employment for caregivers.

“We wrote a letter in June this year but we received no response.Ever since, our calls and queries were in vain,” !Aochamus, a dentist, said, adding that the association, registered this year, will be officially launched next year. She also said the association has written to the ministry seeking assistance regarding possible employment for caregivers.

Health minister Richard Kamwi was not reachable for comment yesterday as his phone was off.

The graduates attended a three-month theoretical and practical course conducted by the Home-Based Caregivers Training Academy. They received certificates.

“There is a need for patients to have somebody who would see that their dignity is protected and that they are cared for and loved. This is something that was in existence before independence but now it died out. Patients deserve quality care and nurses do not have the time to treat and give that care,” said !Aochamus. !Aochamus said most graduates have already been employed at old-age homes and private practices, while others volunters at different hospitals countrywide. “Our country does not have the means of caring for people with terminal diseases, hence the need for the re-introduction of palliative caregivers in society,” said !Aochamus.

She encouraged the graduates not to do everything for money or rewards but out of the desire to care for terminally-ill patients. Reacting to !Aochamus’ suggestion, a woman in the audience on the sidelines said it was a noble thing to do voluntary work, but that was different for those with families to support. A Polytechnic of Namibia senior lecturer, Victoria Hangula spoke about her experience during her son’s illness when there were no caregivers and she had to apply for leave to care for him. “It was a difficult time as many changes had to be made to meet the needs of my son. At the time of his death, he had wanted to see his teacher at the kindergarten and he also said he missed his friends. We took him there and the love they gave him made him smile and feel at peace. He passed on two days later,” said Hangula. Hangula said that day taught her that there is more to being a caregiver. “You need to have a touch, that touch that the children had that made my son smile. You have it in you today, that gentle heart and gentle touch from our hearts. Go out there and change lives,” Hangula implored the graduates.

Source : The Namibian