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Angola : Health-care posts opened

31-10-2002 News Release 02/44

Following several months of repair and upgrading work by the ICRC, two health-care posts were opened in October, one in Ngongoinga, in Huambo province, and the other in Njimba Silili, near Kuito in Bié province.

People in the area living far from large towns will therefore now have access to the basic medical care of which they have been deprived over the long years of war. The speeches given at the inauguration ceremonies for the posts reflected pride in the fact that it was no longer necessary to depend entirely on medical facilities in the provincial capitals. One speaker – a soba, or traditional village headman – said that he got up almost every night and went to the new post, not to seek treatment but just to make sure that everything was in order.

A large number of local village people attended the ceremonies along with provincial representatives of several ministries, the Angola Red Cross and the ICRC. The gleaming new health-care post in Ngongoinga has several consultation rooms, an obstetric delivery room and a pharmacy.  The Njimba Silili post has no reason for envy since it includes a playground for the village children set up by the Angola Red Cross and UNICEF. Children's laughter will doubtless give added meaning to the village's name, since Njimba Silili means " I sing and therefore don't cry " in Umbundu, the language of Angola's central plateau.

Among the various activities organized to mark the two inaugurations was an awareness-rising meeting about AIDS and refreshments for the entire community. The ICRC is repairing and upgrading health-care facilities largely in the hard-hit provinces of Huambo, Kuito and Uige. In all, it supports 11 such posts.