#BeFree celebrates nurses

Katutura Intermediate Hospital matron Elizabeth Hamwaanyena reflected on her 32-year career at an International Nurses Day brunch at the #BeFree Youth Campus in Windhoek on Saturday.

She said her journey has been filled with “immense joy and profound heartbreak”.

International Nurses Day is celebrated annually on 12 May.

This year’s theme was ‘Our Nurses, Our Future: The Economic Power of Care’.
Hamwaanyena said nurses are the backbone of healthcare, but often feel undervalued and face constant demands and challenges.

“Today I feel so special, I never knew there will be a day that I feel this special. Thank you to the #BeFree Cares Clinic for honouring us as nurses,” she said.

During the brunch, some nurses spoke about the challenges they currently face, with Claudia Kambonde listing complicated transportation and delays in referrals as significant problems.

“We are not capturing what is happening in our facilities,” she said about the need to document data on the state of facilities and the country’s healthcare progress.

Elsi Hlahla focused on the issue of tracking referrals.

“We need to do better as a country to ensure the progress of patients referred to national hospitals is tracked,” she said.

BeFree Cares Clinic manager Frieda Stephanus proposed collaboration and support within the healthcare community.

“Division within the healthcare landscape can often hinder collaboration and knowledge exchange,” she said.

Stephanus expressed her appreciation for nurses’ dedication and service.

“#BeFree Cares Clinic is here to support you, collaborate with you and together and build a brighter future for youth healthcare in Namibia,” she said.

One Economy Foundation chief executive Uajorokisa Akwenye hosted a tour of the campus.

She explained how its facilities help young people who have experienced sexual assault.

“The music and colourful environment are designed to create a youth-friendly atmosphere,” Akwenye said.

She said the #BeFree Youth Campus caters for young people between the ages of 10 and 35, but also assists younger people in extreme cases.

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