Max Hamata. The
Namibian. Wednesday, December 5,
CUBA will send 80 doctors and 12 pharmacists to Namibia early next year to
ease the acute shortage of medical personnel in the country.
Health and Social Services Deputy Minister Richard Kamwi told The Namibian
the doctors will range from general practitioners and dentists to
gynaecologists. They are expected in the first few weeks of February.
He said the Ministry had delegated North-West Region Health Director Dr
Naftali Hamata and Under Secretary Nestor Shivute to recruit and interview the
doctors to ascertain their "professional competence" and language
"So far we are quite satisfied that these doctors meet those standards
which we hope will remove those barriers which normally hampers them (Cuban
doctors) in treating patients," he said.
Kamwi said following Hamata and Shivute's trip to Cuba last month to assess
the doctors "we are certain that these are not the types over which the
Namibian public complained that they were either poor in communicating in
English or simply incompetent".
He said with the expansion of the country's health facilities there was an
increasing demand for medical personnel.
The Cubans' salaries will be paid by Havana.
In an effort to address the shortage of medical personnel in Namibia, the
Government sent 60 young Namibians to study for medical qualifications in Cuba,
Ghana, the Russian Federation and South Africa some three years ago.
A three year pre-medical doctors' training programme is expected to start
next year at the University of Namibia (Unam) to prepare students for medical
studies in neighbouring South Africa.
The ministries of Health and Social Services and Higher Education, Training
and Employment Creation as well as Unam will jointly fund this programme.