Ohangwena Health Directorate serves an estimated population of 281,358 which is distributed in this way: 62.3% of the population is in Engela district, 26.5% in Eenhana district and 11.2% in Okongo districts.
Ohangwena region is prone to natural disasters. When there is too much rain the part on its western side gets flooded and this affects people’s livelihood as the crops are being destroyed, communities are displaced, grazing areas got flooded and waterborne diseases ensues. When there is no enough rain, the region is affected by drought which causes hunger to the local people and their animals. The region has also a vast area which is sandy and it can only be accessed with a 4x4 vehicles. This affects also service delivery both for health sector as well as other stakeholders.
Ohangwena is divided into 12 political constituencies which are Okongo, Oshikunde, Omunadungilo, Epembe, Eenhana, Ondobe, Omulonga, Ohangwena, Oshikango, Engela, Ongenga and Endola. Each constituency has at least a health facility as indicated in the table below:
HOSPITALS, HEALTH CENTRES & CLINICS PER CONSTITUENCY WITH THEIR CONTACT NUMBERS
Engela district health facilities
Hospital / Clinic
Engela district hospital
Odibo Health Centre
Eenhana district health facilities
Eenhana district hospital
Okongo district health facilities
Okongo district hospital
Omauni clinic – opening soon
Total hospitals: 3
Total Health Centres: 2
Total Primary Health Care clinics: 31
Total outreach services points: 144
Subdivisions – the heads and number of staff
Prepares budget, manage and control the use of budgetary resources in the directorate. This division has also to advice the Regional Director on the financial matters.
Manage human resource activities in the directorate. Recruitment, staff benefits, disciplinary or misconduct matters, staff movements etc, are under this division.
Administration and Support Services
Manage general administration issues, transport, procurement, repairs and services of equipment and plants within the region. The division has also to deal with the contract management.
Clinical and Medical Services
Manage the clinical services in the region. Medical services, nursing services, Medical rehabilitation services, Programs such as Special programs and Family Health Division as well as the Social Welfare Services are falling under this division.
Nursing services coordinates all activities pertaining to the nursing mandate at all nursing service delivery points. The division is tasked to look at the welfare of patients by making sure the nurses are practising nursing as per the Nursing Profession Act. It is also tasked to ensure professionalism among the nurses in the directorate.
Pharmaceutical services has mandate to ensure the availability of pharmaceutical items and medications at all times in the health facilities. It also looks at the prescription behaviour of prescribers and introduce corrective measures for the safety of patients as well as for the rational use of medications.
Family Health Services
This division is responsible for ensuring the implementation of activities pertaining to Mother and child health, adolescent friendly health services, community health services, clinics and health centre operations, school health services, health education and Primary Health Care outreach services.
Special program has a task for the implementation of program activities targeting the diseases such as Malaria, TB and Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV and AIDS in the region.
Health Information System and Research
To ensure timely collection of health and social welfare related data, data entry, data analysis and giving feedback to the user as well as the processing the data to the next level for further analysis and planning. The division has a second mandate of doing disease surveillance where they are expected to detect the communicable diseases as early as possible and inform the management for prompt response.
Social Welfare Services
Social welfare services has a task to counsel and to educate their clients and the community on how to prevent and or cope with social problems in the society. They may refer their cases to any relevant office where specific person can get further assistance that will alleviate her/his problem.
Environmental Health Care services
This division is tasked to ensure the environmental hygiene, promotion of health and prevention of diseases, enforce compliance in the institutions such as hospitals, kitchens, hostels etc. They have also to ensure proper management of port health. They have a stake to play in initial licensing and subsequent renewal of new health facilities, laboratories, pharmacies and the like.
Medical Rehabilitation services
This division is responsible for the rehabilitation of people with disabilities of different types. They work to add value to the life of the person with disability with the main aim to allow the person to live a productive life despite the disability. The division also provide assistive devices including wheelchairs to the needy community. There is also a component of health education on how to live with disability better and for other people to accept their family members living with disability that these people need also to be treated with dignity
Collaborations - other stakeholders and line ministries
Ohangwena Health Directorate has been working with different line ministries in different areas, e.g. Ministry of Rural and Urban Development, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Ministry of Safety and Security and Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. We also collaborate with the Regional Council and Town Councils.
The region has also been working together with Development partners and Non-governmental organisations such as Project Hope, PEACE CORPS, PEPFAR/CDC, UNAIDS, WHO, UNICEF, DAPP-TCE, ELCIN Diakonia Malaria Project, etc
District Health Services
This is the implementing level of the Ministry and it is where patients and clients come in contact with health workers. Our three district hospitals have Outpatients and Casualty, and Inpatient department. In 2018, only Engela does emergency surgical services. Eenhana has a theatre but does not have enough and skilled personnel while Okongo does not have suitable structures where operations can be done.
All three district hospitals have X-Ray services, dental services, laboratory services (NIP), CSSD services, Incineration of waste, laundry services and mortuary services. Catering and Security services are outsourced to private companies.
Hospitals (all three) have also emergency services such as Casualty Departments and Ambulance Services
Odibo Health Centre opens 24 hours, 7 days a week, it has also an inpatient department. There is no position for a medical officer at Odibo. Ongha Health Centre also opens 7 days a week but only 08H00 to 17H00, there is one position for a medical officer at the health centre. At both health centres there are Anti-retroviral treatment services.
All the clinics open their doors at 08H00 till 17H00 except during Saturdays, Sundays and Public holidays. Depending on the volume of patients attended at specific clinics as well as the distance to the main hospitals, some clinics are allowed to open during public holidays for limited hours.
Clinics offer the following services
Screening and treatment
Immunization and growth monitoring
HIV testing and counselling
TB care services
Antenatal and postnatal care services
Adolescent health services
Outreach services delivery points
These are well and carefully selected places in the community under a certain clinic which are visited on monthly basis to provide health services. The aim of outreach service is to improve on the accessibility to health services in the region. The region has 144 outreach points of which 92 (64%) have shelter/room or a working space where nurses can consult with the patient. Shelter is very critical as those without shelter the nurses cannot do some physical examinations to patients under a tree. This service is very much appreciated by the community members.
Community Health Workers services
The region has 188 active Community Health Workers deployed in the villages but attached to a certain clinics. These are fully paid up staff members who are expected to work normal working hours of 08H00 – 17H00 per day. They are organised under their clinic. The community members through the Village Health Committee are supposed to oversee the work of these staff member in their communities. Their roles is primarily to identify sick people at household level, treat minor ailments, educate the community on hygiene and other health related topics, identify treatment and medical follow up defaulters and refer them promptly, identify pregnant women and educate them to report at health facilities on time for Antenatal care, identify babies and children who need to be vaccinated, children who are malnourished, people without national documentations, etc. The region has 95 trained Community Health Workers who are still waiting to be employed.
Top 10 causes of outpatient visits, Ohangwena Region, 2017/2018