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Hospital disaster emergency preparedness: A study of Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital, Northern Namibia

Alice Ncube
Gerald N.T. Chimenya


This study explored disaster emergency preparedness at Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital in Northern Namibia. It utilized quantitative and qualitative research methods, using a self-administered questionnaire, semi-structured key informant interviews, and a hospital disaster plan checklist. A stratified sample of 120 participants was used with a response rate of 75% and the sample included all staff categorises within the hospital. Five key informants were purposively selected from the management team. In addition, one environmental health officer was selected from non-managerial staff members. The key informants were members of the hospital emergency preparedness committee and command and control unit. The questionnaires were self-administered which enabled the respondents to respond freely and at their convenience. The questionnaire was pre-tested, adjusted and finalised. Face-to-face semi-structured key informant interviews allowed for clarifications and followup questions on overall disaster emergency preparedness process. Through the use of open-ended questions the respondents were encouraged to express their opinions and offer more information. The checklist was used to check and determine the components of the hospital’s disaster plan against the actual processes in the hospital. Most of the respondents were young females aged between 20 and 30 years. The results indicated a fair knowledge of the principled conduct and abilities to respond to emergencies including disease outbreaks. It was established that positive efforts in disaster preparedness were being effected. However, even though the hospital has a good draft disaster plan, more is to be done on training, revisions, and infrastructure alignments.

Keywords: disaster emergency preparedness, hospitals, disaster, disaster management, Namibia