A private medical health centre which opened recently in the town of Rundu will be a boost to the health of the residents of both Kavango East and West.

Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) provided finance for MedRundu Health Centre, a new health facility, operated by a young professional, Dr Vincent Kambinda. MedRundu used the finance for equipment, supplies and working capital.

Speaking about the importance of the facility, DBN Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Jerome Mutumba, said although Rundu and its surrounding areas form the second largest Namibian population centre, with a populace estimated to be in excess of 90,000, health services consist approximately of only sixteen general practitioners, one state hospital and one private hospital.

The relatively few service providers and doctors, places residents of Rundu at a disadvantage in terms of the World Health Organisation recommended norm of one doctor per 1,000 head of population. Says Mutumba, the addition of just one doctor, under the circumstances, significantly alleviates pressure on the pool of medical skills available in the region.

“The shortage of local skills can lead to circumstances in which patients forgo medical treatment, which has wider costs in terms of lost productivity or social burdens on families who have to provide care for ailing family members,” says Mutumba.

The alternative, he adds, is that patients have to travel to other towns at their own expense, which may also place pressure on public sector medical facilities.

The DBN has a long history of finance for medical facilities and professionals, which includes finance for Ongwediva Medipark, two providers of radiological and diagnostic services, one of which was assisted under the Bank’s Innovation Fund, as well as several pharmacies.

Talking about finance for young professionals, Mutumba says the facility is proving fit for purpose. The role of young professionals, he continues, is to provide business and social services that foster sound socio-economic and enterprise environment.

In addition to this, young professionals are nurtured financially by the Bank with the expectation that they will form part of the future pool of entrepreneurs to come. He points out that their earnings are also the basis for future investments in the economy.

On the topic of financing amounts, Mutumba notes that early career-stage professionals and artisans generally require lower amounts to establish their enterprises. This has the effect that the amount of debt finance used becomes more affordable, and in turn, the enterprises become more sustainable.

“The win is mutual. On the one side, the Bank empowers youths venturing into entrepreneurship. On the other side, the Bank and the nation receive exceptional development impact for every dollar invested,” states Mutumba.

In the photo: MedRundu’s Dr Vincent Kambinda.