Radiographer shortage a challenge for health


The Ministry of Health has pointed out that it is still facing a challenge with the shortage of radiographers and sonographers.


Speaking to The Villager, Health permanent secretary Ben Nangombe said, “It is a huge challenge and there are not enough professional in these fields.  Neither in the staff establishments but provisions are made in the restructuring.”


“These professions are very important because they provide radiographic services including x-rays services to the patients for diagnostic purposes. That’s critical in aiding the management of medical conditions and treatment of patients, ” he said.


This comes after a few Kunene inhabitants complained that they were subjected to long distance travelling to get these services.


Nangombe said there is only one radiographer and two assistant radiographers stationed in Kunene region.


“When assistant radiographers are not available, arrangements are made to transport patients in need of radiographic services. For example, internal arrangements are also made between Outjo and Khorixas to assist one another if assistant radiographers are not available.”


“The ministry also goes to the extent of sending Otjiwarongo based radiographers to Kunene region when the need arises,” Nangombe told The Villager.


He added that staff structure for Outjo and Khorixas only have one radiographer assistant for each town and there are currently no radiographer posts for the two towns.

Nangombe also pointed out that the ministry’s x-ray machines are old and need routine services.


A patient who identified himself as Gerhardus Steenkamp expressed disappointment in the absence of a radiographer in Khorixas.


“I am tired of waiting. I asked them to send me to Windhoek because all they tell me is that the radiographer is sick or out of town and I have to walk up and down for my follow-up x-ray that was supposed to be taken after I have been involved in a car accident about two years ago,” he fumed.


He also shared that the ministry has managed to contain the Hepatitis E outbreak that was reported in December last year.