Malaria kills 23 in 2020
18 May 2020 | Health
Since the beginning of the year, malaria has claimed 23 lives nationwide, health authorities confirmed.
Just this year, the deadly disease has claimed 23 lives, with over 10 000 cases recorded.
Responding to a Namibian Sun enquiry, the health ministry confirmed the country has recorded 10 118 cases since 1 January.
While the Kavango East and Kavango West regions recorded 1 120 cases last May, over the same period this year, the number skyrocketed to 4 537. Moreover, 10 of the 23 confirmed malaria-related deaths hailed from the Kavango regions, the ministry's response noted.
The Kavango regions have over the years topped the country's malaria statistics.
This has mainly been attributed to the high rainfall experienced in the areas as well as the Kavango River, a prime breeding ground for mosquitos, which carry the disease.
Kavango health ministry director Timea Ngwira said although the ministry's efforts to curb malaria cases have been intensified, community resistance remains a challenge.
The ministry's report also noted resistance from communities in the two regions against its Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme.
The ministry further indicated that in the Kavango regions, 3.2% of the community refused the IRS programme, while 10.4% of calls to houses went unanswered.
According to the ministry, the IRS programme has 37% coverage in the two Kavango regions, while national coverage stands at 42.7%
Ngwira added that the porous Namibia-Angola border makes it harder for government to eliminate the deadly disease.
She said some cases are a result of malaria-infected persons from southern Angola entering the country. These persons then have the potential to allow mosquitos to draw the parasite from them and infect others.
Meanwhile, Ngwira pointed out that as a result of the drought and intensified efforts, the ministry recorded fewer cases last year.
“Last year, because of the drought and other successful interventions, the number was low. But this year with a lot of rain, and we were a bit slow with the interventions like the IRS, we started late, so the cases will be more,” Ngwira said.