Hepatitis E battle intensifies

09 September 2019 | Health

STAFF REPORTER

Development partners came together in a big way this past weekend to support the elimination of hepatitis E in Namibia.

United Nations (UN) Namibia, the health ministry, the City of Windhoek, Development Workshop Namibia and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are collaborating to positively impact the lives of residents.

Together with community members from the Samora Marchel and Moses Garoeb constituencies in the Khomas Region, the partners commemorated World Hepatitis Day on Saturday and simultaneously launched the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) campaign, to increase access to safe sanitation in informal settlements.

Following the declaration of a health emergency in December 2017, due to the hepatitis outbreak, there has been an increased focus on inadequate water supply and poor sanitation, which are reported to be the main drivers of the outbreak in the informal settlements.

According to a joint press release by the partners involved the CLTS launch, the initiative signals Namibia's commitment to fighting viral hepatitis.

This innovative approach mobilises community members in the two constituencies to eliminate open defecation.

It places the focus on mobilising behaviour change, to ensure sustainable improvements that go beyond the provision of toilets.

CLTS triggers the need for collective change and a self-assessment process, through which communities can better understand the risk of disease and the dangers of open defecation. Furthermore, it creates a greater sense of community ownership, in terms of considering their own wellbeing.

Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe emphasised the need for communities to work together, to ensure the total elimination of the disease.

Additionally, he thanked the Japanese government for supporting Namibia, in its attempts to eliminate the disease, and urged the communities to take care of the facilities and not vandalise them.

“We are here to recognise that in order to curb the spread of hepatitis E in the urban and informal settlements, good sanitation and hygiene for all can be achieved in Namibia,” World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses said.

According to a statement, access to improved sanitation is a basic human right, yet in Namibia 46% nationally (urban: 26% and rural: 70%) practice open defecation.

This is coupled with only 54% of the population practicing hand-washing at critical times.

Generally, when there is poor sanitation coverage, the health of populations is affected.

“The UN sister agencies are happy that the City of Windhoek and the line ministries have embraced the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach; not only to address the ongoing hepatitis E outbreak, but as a sustainable solution to address sanitation and hygiene challenges faced by Namibia,” said Sagoe-Moses.

He thanked the Japanese government for funding the hepatitis E project through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as the CLTS taskforce that worked tirelessly to mobilise their communities to build their own toilets and improve their hygiene practices, such as hand-washing with water at critical times.

The elimination of hepatitis is imperative to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and universal health coverage by 2030.

UN Namibia will continue to support national and regional policymakers to increase political and financial commitments for hepatitis the response.

Since the onset of the outbreak in September 2017, the hepatitis E virus has become the leading cause of maternal deaths.

The latest statistics show that the number of the hepatitis E infections have eclipsed the 6 000-mark, with a total of 6 151 cases reported by 11 August.

The statistics showed further that of the cases reported, 342 were maternal.

Similar News

 

Shangula takes stock of Kavango West health woes

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Health

The Kavango West Region is battling with a lack of health facilities and abandoned projects that have become white elephants while thousands of inhabitants are...

Iipotha yomukithi gwoHepatitis E tayi londo pombanda

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Health

Omukithi gwoHepatitis E oshowo omaso taga etithwa komukithi ngoka oga londo pombanda muule woomvula dha piti, sho ngashiingeyi kwa lopotwa iipotha yipo 6 280 okuya...

Rise of hepatitis E unstoppable

3 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Health

Hepatitis E infections and deaths have more than doubled over the past year, with a total of 6 280 hepatitis E cases reported by 25...

The birds and the bees

5 days ago - 10 September 2019 | Health

Ester Kamati Abstinence is cool and is often the first tip someone would give, when the topic of sexual intercourse arises. This, however, is...

Hepatitis E battle intensifies

6 days ago - 09 September 2019 | Health

STAFF REPORTERDevelopment partners came together in a big way this past weekend to support the elimination of hepatitis E in Namibia. United Nations (UN) Namibia,...

Quashing cervical cancer through prevention

1 week ago - 06 September 2019 | Health

In an effort to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer the Cancer Association (CAN) and partners this week launched their national human papilloma virus (HPV)...

NamBTS takes care of its employees

2 weeks ago - 30 August 2019 | Health

The Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) in Windhoek held a wellness day for its employees on Wednesday. Namibia Health Plan (NHP) visited the offices to...

Call for second opinion on patient's death

2 weeks ago - 29 August 2019 | Health

The People's Litigation Centre has called on the medical board to investigate the death of a patient who was waiting to be assisted at the...

Companies fail on health, safety

3 weeks ago - 22 August 2019 | Health

The majority of companies inspected by the labour ministry in the first quarter of this year were not in compliance with occupational health and safety...

Bolster fight against hepatitis E

3 weeks ago - 22 August 2019 | Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has again urged Namibia to boost its response to the protracted hepatitis E outbreak which has claimed the lives of...

Latest News

Great risk, great reward

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk In only three years, Braam Vermeulen and his two other founding partners...

Once bitten, twice shy

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Economics

The Government Institutions Pension Fund says it cannot guarantee the success of its unlisted investment scheme but has taken precautions to ensure that it does...

Rape: No means no

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Crime

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday underlined a woman's right to say no and urged Namibians to band together to end the epidemic of violence by...

Perseverance and a good attitude...

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk Growing up in the small town of Rehoboth, Chantell Engelbrecht longs for the times she used to play street soccer with her...

Fear is not a factor

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Michelline Nawatises Primus Shaapopi was born at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region. For 17 years, he was raised as a Catholic by his grandmother at...

Self-motivation and teamwork

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Mariselle StofbergEvery new challenge can translate into a learning experience, which helps Natalia Simon gain deeper knowledge of my profession.Simon has never allowed the challenges...

Adding value to the equation

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk Born and raised in Oranjemund in the //Karas Region, Marisol Basson attended high school in South Africa. She decided to study marketing...

SOEs a burden - Jooste

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says state-owned enterprises in Namibia, with the exception of a few, have failed to optimally deliver on their mandates.“In some...

Let's talk about sex

2 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Opinion

Teen pregnancy in Namibia remains a rising concern. The high teen pregnancy rate has also resulted in many girls dropping out of school to stay...

Load More