Unam students glad over re-opening of wellness centre

The University of Namibia (Unam) closed its clinic at the main campus in Windhoek for renovations in August 2012, and five years later, the new student wellness centre which cost at least N$5.8 million opened last week. New Era's Alvine Kapitako spoke to students on how life was without a clinic and the difference now that there is a wellness centre.

It's very good that we have a wellness centre because if you fall sick while on campus you don't have to travel long distances to the nearest health facility. Students can be tested for HIV at the clinic and pregnant students can receive their antenatal care at the wellness centre and they do not have to miss classes because there are no queues.

Chrisley Benud /Awiseb

The opening of the wellness centre means that help is now at our doorstep and there is no need to run to the nearest hospital. Male students who wish to be circumcised can now access those services here without the trouble of long queues. Circumcision reduces the risk of HIV by 60 percent.

Susan Halwoodi

It was really difficult for students when there was no clinic because they had to wait for the ambulance to take them to the hospital if they were sick. Now that we have a wellness centre, follow-ups can be done here and ladies can take their family planning here. Nursing students can do their practicals here and they will have time to engage with the clinical instructors.

Nicky Thompson

Since the wellness centre takes on a holistic approach in providing for healthcare services, students will be targeted from all sides. Students will be screened for depression. Sometimes we don't see that people have problems at home so if such services are offered some of those problems might be resolved.

Sharon Zaaruka

The Student Wellness Centre is a great initiative because it provides holistic services under one roof. This includes counselling services. Before that it was just a clinic, now everything is done at one place.

Roger Gaeb

At previous times we didn't have anything like this. We had a little office in the Dean of Students where sick students could be attended to. Now, we have all this equipment and wide space. The treatment centre is way too big. This helps with confidentiality because no one sees anyone seeking health services. There is not much of a line because the nurses attend to more students at a time.

Leena Pandjelenga

This is good for all students regardless of whether they stay on campus or not. We used to go to the clinics where we were sick and it was always full. That forced us to miss our lessons because of the long queues.

Salatiel Shitayi

Students suffering from diabetes and hypertension can have their blood checked at the centre if they do not have their own machines. This would help them to better control their conditions. Students can also be tested for HIV here and if they are positive they can be referred to a health facility for further treatment such as access of ARV's.

Emma Shiwayu

The facility will provide uncompensated services to those in need. The facility is on campus and students do not have to travel far to access health services. Students can now do their practicals here. That would cut on costs in terms of going to a health facility off campus to practise.

Julia Mbeeli

Students no longer have to wait for an ambulance in order to be attended to, they can just go to the clinic. It will help us because students won't have to miss lectures while seeking healthcare services off campus.

Salmi Ndapunikwa Linus

It's a good opportunity for all students because when they are sick they don't have to go off campus to access health services. There are no queues as we see at local clinics and there is free HIV testing here. Pregnant students on campus will come here for their follow-up.

Marina Kwedhi

It's a good thing that we have a wellness centre. It's free of charge and it's nearby even for those students who stay on campus. There is no to take a taxi or to queue up.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia