Unemployed couple struggling with premature triplets

Efano: La yandjwa ELONGO … Mefano omu otamu monika Ester Nghipewa nomuholike waye Hepali Hetwali ve kwete ounona vavo ovo va dalwa efiku limwe alike ve li vatatu (elongo).

An unemployed couple from Havana informal settlement in Windhoek says they are finding it hard to survive and provide for their six-week-old triplets.

The triplets were delivered prematurely at Windhoek Central Hospital on 18 February.

Ester Nghipewa (28) says it’s hard to breastfeed on an empty stomach.

Because she is unable to produce milk for her babies, she currently relies on formula milk, but cannot afford this since she is unemployed.

“I came to Windhoek in 2018 to further my studies as a student nurse,” the mother of six says.

Nghipewa says she and her partner, Hepali Hetwali (29), can barley afford groceries, nappies, clothes, or baby formula.

She commends the social workers who have helped them thus fur.

“My neighbours assist us with food most of the time,” she says.

Nghipewa says her two-year-old and the triplets are not yet beneficiaries of a social grant.

Upon registration at the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare the couple was told they would receive their first social grant payout in July, she says.

Hetwali says he has no capital to start a business, such as selling kapana.

“I need a job and can do any manual work to provide for my family,” he says.

Hetwali says he was last employed as a painter at a construction site, but was left jobless after the contract ended.

He says he came to Windhoek a decade ago after he drop out of school in Grade 9 when his parents died.

“There was no one to look after me or support me through school,” he says.

The couple currently lives at a friend’s shack, and is calling on the public for help.

One of the couple’s neighbours, Laimi Tindu (34), says: “They have been blessed with triplets, but providing for them has been a struggle. I share some meals with them when I have enough to share.

“We also help each other with other necessities,” she says.

Moses Garoëb constituency councillor Stephanus Ndengu says Nghipewa and Hetwali have been to his office to seek help.

“My office gave the couple some groceries, and I can assist them with drafting a letter to seek more help beyond my office,” he says.
Ndengu is calling on the public to come on board to help the couple.

Minister of gender equality, poverty eradication and social welfare Doreen Sioka says she is not aware of the case, although multiple birth cases are normally prioritised when it comes to social grants.

“Triplets are priorities of the ministry and are supposed to be attended to as soon as possible,” she says.

Sioka further referred The Namibian to the director of child welfare to alert the ministry of the whereabouts of the triplets.

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