Ward C patients in the Windhoek Central Hospital are pleased with the warm showers they now enjoy and lights in their rooms, following recent renovations done by Debmarine Namibia.
The division within the Mental Health Care Centre of the Windhoek Central Hospital lodges female patients with acute mental ill-health to provide support and treatment needed to aid in their recovery.
The section was in disrepair for many years, lacking essential services such as functioning plumbing, electrical work and water connections. Anna Ikela, senior communications officer at Debmarine, said in a statement issued yesterday the female mental ward had no reliable electricity or hot water supply – and the paint was peeling off the crumbling concrete walls, among other things.
Hettie Maritz, the occupational therapist in the Mental Health Unit, explained that Ward C was structurally in a bad shape. Before the renovation, Ward C was in the dark 90%, as the lights were not working.
“The ceilings in the bathroom were sagging, worn-out or missing. The majority of toilets were out of order or not flushing, the baths did not drain properly or there were no taps attached and the drainpipes below the basins in the kitchen and dining room were ripped out or broken,” said Maritz.
Debmarine also installed an external shower regulator to regulate the water, as there was no warm water during winter months. The Mental Health Care Centre provides multidisciplinary in and outpatient care, seven days a week and house 22 patients at the moment. Psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists take hands to monitor, evaluate, treat, educate and equip patients and their families.
Acting senior medical officer at the central hospital Dr Frieda Kalenga highlighted the importance of the Mental Health Care Centre and the value it adds to society. “Everyone has ‘mental health’ and this can be thought of in terms of how we feel about ourselves and the people around us, our ability to make and keep relationships and our ability to learn from others and to develop psychologically and emotionally,” she explained.
“Being mentally healthy is also about having the strength to overcome the difficulties and challenges we can all face at times in our lives to have confidence and self-esteem, to be able to make decisions and to believe in ourselves. Caring for the mind is just as important as caring for the body. The one cannot be healthy without the other,” said Kalenga. Senior registered nurse Katrina Beukes said patients are still in need of toiletries, radios, board games and, at times, visitors for emotional support.