Welwitschia hospital ICU inaugurated

Massive investment

25 February 2020 | Health

Matthias Braune; CEO Erongo Medical Group; "...dramatically reducing the number of patient referrals to the capital."

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The Welwitschia private hospital inaugurated its brand new N$30 million intensive care unit (ICU) on Tuesday.

The hospital now has a 97-bed capacity with three specialised operating theatres.

The new, state-of-the art ICU has nine beds, three of which are in the isolation rooms.

CEO of the Erongo Medical Group Matthias Braune said that the hospital has expanded its service offering over the past five years to keep up with the growing need of the urban community.

“In 2015 we built and opened three new operating theatres, dramatically reducing the number of patient referrals to the capital. We extended and renovated our maternity ward in 2017. In the same year, the addition of our three-bed neonatal ICU became home to many newborns and premature babies. We also responded to the increased health care needs of our community by opening a second 24-bed general ward in July 2019, which allowed our doctors to provide comprehensive treatment for our valued surgical and medical patients.”

Health and social services minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula commended the Erongo Medical Group for the execution of this project.

“Your hard work has yielded a modern facility that will contribute to the provision of better healthcare for our people. The last three years have delivered some excellent statistical outcomes, with mortality rates being three times lower when compared to data from the European Union. The ICU patients at the unit make up 70% of emergency admissions, with the remaining 30% being elective, post-surgical cases. This is a truly commendable achievement.”

The ICU will be manned by Dr Andreij Kornilov and Dr Igor Petrov who have a combined 50 years’ experience in intensive care.
At the event, the minister touched on the coronavirus outbreak and said that the government has taken precautionary measures.

“The coronavirus has spread to 33 countries outside China and the disease has caused many deaths. What is encouraging is that the number of new cases is reducing and more people are discharged from hospitals cleared of the disease.

“Government has taken precautionary measures to prevent the introduction of the disease in Namibia. All travellers to Namibia are screened at all ports of entry and we have established dedicated isolation units and treatment centres. We have also built capacity to test for the coronavirus in Namibia. Therefore, it is important for all Namibians remain calm and follow the directives from the ministry.”

However, Shangala said the Hepatitis E outbreak in the Erongo region is more worrisome than the coronavirus.

“As we take measures to protect ourselves against the coronavirus, we must never lose sight of the elephant in the room: At the moment Hepatitis E poses a bigger threat to Namibia than the coronavirus. For both coronavirus and Hepatitis E, maintaining personal hygiene is a key factor. We must therefore continue to practice personal hygiene and avoid contamination.”

The Erongo Medical Group and the ministry will soon formalise a public private partnership agreement for the benefit of both state and private patients.

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