Health must be part of infrastructure development through PPPs – director

Aussenkehr-//Kharas regional director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Barth Muntenda says the construction of health facilities should be core to any agreement between the regional council and private partners.

Speaking to New Era, he said it is important that infrastructure development by the regional council and any possible investors, through public-private partnerships (PPPs), always consist of a health facility to ensure people have access to health services.

He said many a time such projects are too focused on provision of housing and shopping centres, forgetting that community members also need health facilities nearby. He thus urged the regional council to ensure that any plans for development in the region include the construction of a health facility.

PPPs are now becoming the best option and the regional council must continue to put health on their agenda � and whenever they negotiate they should always think of health, we should not be left out, he said.

Muntenda also spoke on the progress of plans to build a health centre at Aussenkehr, a community of over 30,000 people that depends on one clinic, which has been a problem as it is too small for such a huge population.

The director said the facility would be constructed through the PPP infrastructure development project.

He explained that the government was ready to build the facility and architects have approved the site, but due to lack of funds the project was shelved.

However, he noted that there is a glimmer of hope that the facility would soon be built, adding that a health centre is part of the plans of the Aussenkehr project.

He said the construction of the facility is very important as it will improve service delivery to the community and avail additional services that the clinic is currently unable to render.

We promise to provide all resources as soon as the facility is built � this will also curb the high cost of referrals to Karasburg hospital and reduce negative happenings during emergency drives, he said.

The Ausenkehr infrastructure development project that will see construction of houses, a shopping mall and a health facility, among others, was set to get off the ground last week but was delayed as the ground-breaking ceremony was postponed due to incomplete paperwork.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia