No one should die of Malaria – Haufiku

13 November 2018 | Health

Health minister Bernhard Haufiku says nobody should die of malaria, which is a preventable and curable disease.

Haufiku says shocking statistics of malaria cases and deaths are reported every year, which are entirely preventable.

He believes that even if malaria deaths were reduced by 90 percent, it would still be too high.

“We know very well that behind every statistic that we are giving here, there are human lives that are getting lost. We should actually aim for a zero percent statistic and then we know everyone is safe. We cannot say that the 10 percent is acceptable. Who of us wants to be among the 10 percent dying from malaria? No one.

“No one should die of malaria and that is the bottom line. The statistics of 90 percent reduction is for us health professionals to appease ourselves and the reality is that everyone should be safe from malaria.”

Haufiku was speaking at Kayengona village in the Kavango East Region, where the official commemoration of SADC Malaria Awareness Day was held on Friday.

The theme of the event was 'SADC Unite to End Malaria'.

Haufiku expressed concern about the fact that reported malaria cases have increased from 3 000 in 2012 to 66 000 at the latest count.

“Where did we go wrong and what are we not doing right, because from 3 000 to 66 000, that is a big difference,” he remarked.

Haufiku said the two water-rich Kavango regions are the epicentres of the malaria epidemic in Namibia because that's where the malaria-carrying mosquitoes breed.

The minister urged all stakeholders to play their part in the fight against malaria.

He said the illness should not just be contained but eradicated with the cooperation of health professionals and the public.

“Our attitude towards fighting malaria should be vicious and that is the only way we will succeed,” Haufiku said.

He expressed disappointment with people who do not want to cooperate with health workers who move from house to house doing indoor residual spraying (IRS) against mosquitoes.

Haufiku said some people believe the myth that IRS can make them infertile, which is a blatant lie.

“I would like to encourage all Namibians to allow our people to do the IRS as well as make use of mosquito nets in order to be protected against malaria. It is the only right thing to do,” Haufiku said.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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