A 14-year-old boy had to travel over 700km with an arrow stuck in his eye socket because there was no specialist in Rundu to remove it.
Vaino Haindongo Kamati who was hit with an arrow in his right eye by a fellow villager at Metengo Village close to Rundu last week, is now in (ICU) at the Katutura State Hospital.
Kamati was amongst a group of children who were washing their clothes and bathing in the Kavango River where other residents were fishing using bows and arrows.
“My son had just made a comment on how they kept missing the fish. He made fun of a man who had been listening to his comments but was not part of the fishing team who in turn started arguing with him, wanting to beat him up and then chased him away.
“He ran and hid in the bushes but the moment he came out to get his things, the man hit him straight in the eye with an arrow,” said his father, Werner Hausiku, who was in Windhoek when the incident happened.
The boy was rushed to Metengo Kwenguru Clinic but there was no doctor specialised in such cases, so he was transferred to Nankundu Hospital and still, he could not be assisted.
He was later admitted into Rundu State Hospital for a day but it was not of any good since there were still no specialists and the doctors on duty were unable to remove the arrow because they were afraid to worsen the condition.
Two days later, with an arrow still stuck in his eye, he was admitted at the Katutura State Hospital for an operation.
“It is a pity that people with serious conditions in some small towns are unable to be assisted fast enough because of lack of facilities and specialists and this worsens the condition of the patients.
“Just imagine traveling for such a long distance in pain. He had to go through three hospitals before he was assisted!” Exclaimed an agitated Hausiku.
Having arrived in Windhoek late in the afternoon, he was only transferred to the Windhoek Central Hospital in the evening.
“When he came here in Windhoek, he also had to be driven around before he was assisted. Since the Katutura State Hospital does not have an X-ray machine, we had to go to the Windhoek Central State Hospital first for X-rays before returning to the Katutura State Hospital for the operation,” Hausiku narrated.
Later the same day, an operation was done and the metal head of the arrow was removed.
“The metal head went straight into the brain according to the doctor who operated him. He said that the rust which was on the metal has affected him and his brain is now not functioning and we must wait for the senior doctor to come and assist them,” the traumatised father said.
Further, Hausiku rebuked the Ministry of Health and Social Services for poor health services in State hospitals.
Patients travel by themselves or with relatives without nurses to assist them when emergencies arise. Emergency beds also do not always have belts and patients can just fall off, he lamented.