Unam closed its clinic at the main campus in Windhoek for renovations in August 2012, and nearly five years later, the new wellness centre opened yesterday. The centre’s facelift cost at least N$5.8 million and it will house eight staff members.
“The renovation period of the clinic saw numerous constraints encountered by our students whose health care was catered for by health facilities off campus,” said Professor Frednard Gideon, the Unam Pro-vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. He added that some students had to travel in between classes to seek health care services.
Gideon also said the aim is for the wellness centre to “reduce to a little extent, the burden on State health facilities such as the Robert Mugabe Clinic, and Katutura and Windhoek Central hospitals”.
The centre has been registered as a training facility with the health ministry. This means that students in medicine, nursing and public health, as well as clinical psychology would be able to do their training through in-service programmes and internship opportunities at the centre.
The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna, said at that occasion that State hospitals and clinics cannot be the only in-service training centres in the country.
“A facility of this magnitude will go a long way in assisting our country in meeting some of its developmental targets,” said Kavetuna.
This is in line with the Vision 2030 theme on health and development, added the deputy minister.
She also said the fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5) target on building a capable and healthy human resource and the Harambee Prosperity Plan pillar on social progression.
“Although the student wellness centre will be viewed by many as a facility of Unam, we in Government view it as a contribution to Government efforts in meeting its developmental targets,” said Kavetuna, also suggesting that the idea of a wellness centre be expanded to all the Unam campuses. She also expressed confidence in the professional capacity of staff at the Student Wellness Centre.
“As a ministry we will work closely with these colleagues to ensure the services provided are in line with our national standards. And, we will support initiatives geared towards the provision of health services,” said Kavetuna.
“Today, I am glad to announce that we are able to provide quality, integrated, affordable, accessible health and welfare services that are responsive to the needs of students through the University Wellness Centre and Ambulance services on our campus,” said Gideon.
In addition to medical services, the centre will provide practical, guided clinical counselling and clinical interventions geared towards sustaining students’ optimal functioning.