Hepatitis E claims 40 lives

04 February 2019 | Health

Forty people, including 17 women who were pregnant or had recently given birth, have died from the prolonged hepatitis E outbreak that broke out in September 2017.

A total of 4 318 hepatitis E cases have been recorded in most of Namibia's regions, the latest statistics released by the health ministry show.

On 2 December 2018, a total of 4 009 cases had been recorded, including 34 deaths, of which 16 were maternal deaths.

The Khomas Region's informal settlements remain the hardest hit by the outbreak, with 2 962 cases, followed by the Erongo Region with 918 cases, Omusati with 174 cases and Oshana with 80 cases.

In Ohangwena, 60 cases have been reported, followed by 50 cases in the Oshikoto Region and 39 in the two Kavango regions.

Only 34 have been reported in the Otjozondjupa, Kunene, Omaheke and Hardap regions.

Thirty of the 40 recorded deaths occurred in the Khomas Region, four in the Erongo Region and two each in the Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshana regions.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) weekly bulletin on outbreaks and other emergencies, issued on 25 January, noted that based on the outbreak statistics up to 6 January, “the overall trend has been declining”.

The health ministry cautioned that although a decline in the rate of new infections had been observed, the incubation period of the disease is between two and ten weeks. While the number of cases in a given week might be fewer, “there may still be some people who have been infected a number of weeks ago, but still do not exhibit symptoms of the disease.”

Nevertheless, a health official said the number of reported cases showed a downward trend.

Last week, a presentation by the City of Windhoek on conditions in the city's more than 80 informal settlements, which according to international classifications qualify as slums, noted that at least 131 000 residents live without adequate water and sanitation.

Open defecation is common, the municipality said, and “due to pressure, and to a certain extent vandalism and illegal dumping, the sewer system is failing.”

As a result of this, there is an overflow of sewage into the river system, which poses a severe health risk to the residents of informal settlements.

In December, Namibian Sun reported that the breadth of Namibia's hepatitis E outbreak is unique.

While Uganda and South Sudan have experienced hepatitis E outbreaks of similar duration as Namibia, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia explained that the spread of the disease to several other regions was unique.


Similar News


US helps Namibia win against HIV

1 day - 23 April 2019 | Health

Namibia's health ministry last week signed a new five-year cooperation agreement with the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed at keeping...

Hepatitis still raging on

1 week ago - 15 April 2019 | Health

The hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia which has raged on for a year and a half, claimed another life bringing the total number of deaths...

Namibia makes progress on child malnutrition

1 week ago - 11 April 2019 | Health

The latest global estimates indicate that malnutrition among Namibian children under five years old has decreased since the year 2000.The new Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates...

Hospital hygiene leaves much to be desired

2 weeks ago - 05 April 2019 | Health

The poor hygiene at Namibian hospitals, which has made news headlines over the years, has once again been highlighted in a World Health Organisation (WHO)...

N$156bn lost to diseases

3 weeks ago - 03 April 2019 | Health

Diseases afflicting Namibia's population resulted in a N$156 billion loss to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015 alone. They were also responsible for...

Rotten to the core

3 weeks ago - 02 April 2019 | Health

If the corruption plaguing the Public Service Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) is not halted, government will be compelled to transform the scheme and disadvantage low-earning...

Sharing tombo, kapana linked to hepatitis E

4 weeks ago - 27 March 2019 | Health

Research conducted by the University of Namibia (Unam), in close collaboration with Cardiff University, has found that the ongoing hepatitis E outbreak in informal areas...

Government pharmaceutical plant on hold

1 month - 22 March 2019 | Health

Government's plan to construct a pharmaceutical plant is on hold until various agreements are reached with private sector partners involved in the project.This is according...

Hepatitis E outbreak hits Walvis

1 month - 19 March 2019 | Health

The Walvis Bay municipality has called on residents not to panic in the wake of a reported hepatitis E outbreak at the coastal town, saying...

Health buckles under meds shortage

1 month - 18 March 2019 | Health

A consignment of critically needed antibiotics is on hold at Customs in Walvis Bay after the supplier's import permit expired.The executive director of the health...

Latest News

Anger grows over killing

13 hours ago | Crime

The secretary-general of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), Job Muniaro, has issued a stern warning to Chinese businesspeople to “shape up or ship...

Warning of dire food shortages

13 hours ago | Disasters

The latest Crop Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report has predicted massive reductions for all crop-producing areas in the expected harvest season, including cereal...

Solving your challenges with remuneration

13 hours ago | Business

We live in an environment of continued cost-constraints, skills shortage and labour mobility. At the same time, there is pressure to improve productivity, and improve...

ACC: Budget not enough to...

13 hours ago | Economics

CATHERINE SASMAN The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says the N$61.6 million budget proposed for its operations is woefully inadequate.The...

Do good for others

13 hours ago | Opinion

Human rights are needed to protect and preserve every individual's humanity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear in highlighting the basic rights and...

Auto giants battle used car...

13 hours ago | Business

Joe Bavier, Emma Rumney and Duncan Miriri - At the edge of Nairobi's Ngong Forest, thousands of used cars glitter in the hot sun on...

Violent Easter weekend

13 hours ago | Crime

The four-day Easter weekend was marred by a spate of violent crimes including a dozen reported sexual assaults and armed robberies, in addition to a...

Watch your mouth

13 hours ago | Politics

Only half of Namibians believe that they have the right of freedom of association, says an Afrobarometer policy paper titled 'Are Africans' freedoms slipping away?'...

E-tax rollout postponed again

13 hours ago | Economics

The finance ministry introduced a new electronic income-tax filing system in January, but deadlines are repeatedly being postponed.The date when the new system must become...

Load More