Namibia to construct US $1.8m neonatal unit at Swakopmund

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The government of Namibia has set aside about US $1.8m for the construction of a state-of-the-art neonatal unit and a mothers’ shelter at Swakopmund. The unit is expected to have a 28-bed capacity which will be divided into 12 standard care beds, six high-care beds, six intensive care beds and four isolation unit beds. The unit will have doctors’ consulting rooms as well as on-call rest rooms.

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Promoting Mother-child bonding

According to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the facility will go a long way in ensuring the survival of new-born children in the Erongo region, especially those born prematurely and at risk of dying in the absence of such specialised care. “The mothers’ shelter will have 12 beds which will go a long way in promoting mother-child bonding and breast-feeding,” said the PM after laying the foundation brick, symbolizing the start of construction works.

“These are important components of maternal child health care as it promotes psychological wellbeing of the mother. This arrangement will provide the mothers with the space and privacy they need to get to know their new babies and to assure them that they will be nearby while their babies receive the highest level of care,” she added.

The prime minister also confirmed that the positions for paediatricians as well as other specialised vacancies required for neonatal care unit will be advertised and filled before the construction of the unit is completed. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed by February 2022.