Pollution is a ticking time-bomb

05 January 2018 | Health

The ministry of health appears to have on its hands a massive health crisis which was in fact predicted in a 2017 publication about informal settlements and the accompanying lack of hygiene.

In the last two weeks, 152 cases of confirmed and suspected Hepatitis E have been reported in most of the informal settlements and some of the lesser developed parts of Katutura.

Of these 152 cases, one person has died, two were admitted to the Katutura State Hospital and Roman Catholic Private Hospital, while the rest were sent home following treatment.

This was confirmed by acting health permanent secretary Dr Dawid Uirab, who said the situation was under control as health workers and volunteers were raising awareness of the disease and scouting for new infections.

He pointed out that not all the cases were laboratory confirmed.

The symptoms of hepatitis E include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice (discoloration of eyes), dark urine, clay-coloured stools and pain in the joints.

The virus is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, principally via contaminated drinking water, and the disease is most common in areas with limited access to water, sanitation, hygiene and health services.

According to Uirab, the outbreak is concentrated in the Havana informal settlement, followed by the Goreangab, Greenwell Matongo and Ombili informal settlements.





These are the parts of Windhoek that have very poor sanitation as many are still making use of makeshift toilets or shared municipal ablutions and communal taps prone to contamination.

The publication titled 'Informal Settlements in Namibia: Their Nature and Growth' states that water in Windhoek's Goreangab Dam is badly contaminated by domestic and human waste, with much of the pollution coming from surrounding informal settlements.

It further states that it is widely believed that pollution from Windhoek badly contaminated water in the Swakoppoort Dam in 2011 when heavy rain swept large volumes of waste into the dam.

By 2017, the water in the dam remained so contaminated that it could only be used in a diluted state.

As one of Windhoek's major sources of water, Swakoppoort's contamination is an extremely serious problem, especially when other water sources are meagre.

In her foreword to the publication, housing minister Sophia Shaningwa said the publication served as a wake-up call, showing that Namibia was running out of time.

“Many have pointed out correctly that informal settlements have no place in an upper-middle-income country. This research clearly shows that what is needed foremost to redress the situation is the provision of legal land to the urban poor.

“With local authorities leading the way, I strongly encourage banks and the private sector to support such action. Innovative thinking is needed, as well as pragmatic approaches. Ignoring the urgent need for low-cost land demonstrates sightedness and a lack of understanding that we are bound together as a society and a country,” she said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

Solar systems for rural clinics

3 days ago - 18 January 2018 | Health

Solar systems were installed at five rural clinics in Namibia during December to provide constant and cost-effective access to electricity. The United Nations Development Programme...

Hepatitis E cases rise

4 days ago - 17 January 2018 | Health

The number of hepatitis E cases plaguing several informal settlements of Windhoek continue to rise, with 294 cases presenting with clinical signs at Windhoek health...

Oshipangelo shaShikuku tashi tamanekwa

1 week ago - 12 January 2018 | Health

Uuministeli wuundjolowele inawu vula okugandja epeko lyondjokonona yepango lyomukokele ngoka a pangwa moshipangelo shaSt Martin, mOshikuku koHealth Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA). Ofamili yomukokele ngoka,...

Rebate ban a lose-lose situation

1 week ago - 11 January 2018 | Health

Local gym owner Henk Cloete believes the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) has made a big mistake by doing away with gym rebates.This, he...

Oshikuku hospital under fire

1 week ago - 11 January 2018 | Health

The health ministry has been unable to provide the medical records of a pensioner treated at St Martin's Hospital at Oshikuku to the Health Professions...

Kwa lopotwa iipotha yoHepatitis E moshilandopangelo

1 week ago - 08 January 2018 | Health

Omuntu gumwe okwa lopotwa a hulitha omanga yaali ya taambelwa moshipangelo shaKatutura oshowo shaRoman Catholic Private Hospital na yalwe oya tumwa komagumbo. Onkundana ndjoka oya...

Pollution is a ticking time-bomb

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Health

The ministry of health appears to have on its hands a massive health crisis which was in fact predicted in a 2017 publication about informal...

Shortage of rabies vaccine

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Health

For the past few months government hospitals and clinics have been running out of human rabies vaccine, which forces people to turn to private pharmacies...

Rebate drop irks gym goers

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2018 | Health

Fitness centre members are unhappy about the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) decision to cancel gym rebates. Namfisa late last year announced that medical...

Hepatitis outbreak still under control

3 weeks ago - 29 December 2017 | Health

JANA-MARI SMITHA total of 38 people have been linked to the hepatitis E virus (HEV) outbreak in Windhoek’s informal settlements, including nine who tested positive...

Latest News

Germany's first blow in genocide...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Justice

As was expected the German government through its Washington lawyers appealed to the New York federal court to dismiss the Nama and OvaHerero lawsuit, but...

Hambukushu committee in dramatic U-turn

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Cultural

In a dramatic twist, a committee established by the Hambukushu tribe with the sole mandate to force local chief Erwin Munika Mbambo to relinquish power,...

Building strong ­relationships

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAAn average day of a sales consultant in the world of vehicle and asset finance begins with an administrative focus to finalise all applications...

Alleged double killer gets new...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Justice

A man accused of killing two women and burning their bodies at a dumpsite in Windhoek in January 2016 now has a new state-funded defence...

Pensioners given the run-around

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Government

CATHERINE SASMANAn elderly couple claim to have been given misleading information about re-registration for state pensions last week.The couple, preferring anonymity, say they went to...

Bank Windhoek appoints procurement head...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

Joubert has over 20 years’ experience in the procurement environment in both the public and financial sectors, including supply chain processes such as receipting, warehousing,...

When to give an annual...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Supplements

Luck of the draw. Some companies have a firm policy that says that employees who haven’t been with the company for at least a full...

Fransfontein hostel: Ministry steps in

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Education

Kunene education officials have jumped into action after slum-like living conditions at a Khorixas school hostel came to light this month, vowing to render assistance...

Angola to issue US$2 bln...

2 days ago - 19 January 2018 | Economics

Stephen Eisenhammer - Angola plans to issue a Eurobond and renegotiate bilateral debt in 2018 as part of measures aimed at restructuring the economy and...

Load More