Malaria outbreak claims 63

17 July 2017 | Health

The health ministry announced last week that from a total number of over 38 000 malaria cases, 63 deaths were reported countrywide between January and April this year.

Briefing the National Assembly, deputy health minister Juliet Kavetuna said 38 243 malaria cases were reported during the recent outbreak.

“This reflects a 51% decline in deaths from malaria compared to the same period in 2016,” she said.

An additional N$12.3 million was also requested from treasury by the health ministry towards an effective malaria response for the current financial year. Kavetuna told lawmakers that since the outbreak, the ministry embarked on a robust response campaign, targeting the affected areas through mass testing and treatment.

High malaria cases and deaths were reported in the Ohangwena, Zambezi, Omusati, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa and Oshana regions.

“During the outbreak a total number of 181 373 people were tested as part of the campaign, of which 13 080 tested positive for malaria and were also treated,” she said.

The deputy minister said the importation of malaria from neighbouring Angola was also major issue contributing to the disease outbreak.

She added that health relations between Namibia and Angola have been revitalised to tackle malaria.

“Spray operator training will begin on 1 September 2017, with spray operations ending no later than 30 November to provide maximum protection during the transmission season. Logistical arrangements, including the procurement of insecticides and equipment have been plotted and planned and structures to implement and monitor [the disease] have been established.”

In April this year, the Angolan health minister Dr Luis Gomes Sambo attended the commemoration of World Malaria Day at Omafo in the Ohangwena Region with his Namibian counterpart Dr Bernhard Haufiku.

During the event an agreement was launched at Oihole in Angola’s Cunene Province to combat common diseases such as malaria.

At the event, Sambo confirmed the transmission of malaria had increased in his country, adding that the disease was being transmitted by the Angolans visiting Namibia on a daily basis.

ILENI NANDJATO

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