23 Mar 2016 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 23 MAR (NAMPA) - The yellow fever outbreak in Angola is confined to the Luanda province, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has indicated.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Bernard Haufiku said this at the handing over of medication donated to the Angolan government here on Wednesday.
The Government of Namibia, through the Ministry of Health and Social Services, has donated medicine worth N.dollars 177 000 to Angolas health ministry, which was handed over to the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Corporation, Maureen Hinda.
Haufiku said the donation came two weeks after Angolas ministry of health formally informed his ministry about the outbreak of yellow fever, which started on 05 December 2015.
In response we tried to see how best we can help Angola and also to activate our own mechanisms, he said.
Namibia is bordered by Angola in the north and people from both nations travel between the two countries daily.
Haufiku said the Ministry of Health and Social Services liaised with the WHO and the Angolan Government to ascertain the extent of the problem to Namibia, which is when the WHO informed the ministry that the cases are confined to the Luanda province.
The organisation also gave its assurance that Namibia does not have to donate yellow fever vaccines to Angola, as the WHO agencies were already active in Luanda, aiding in the outbreak.
On our part in the spirit of brotherhood and good neighbourhood, we changed our strategy to see in what way we could assist Angola, he said.
Namibia has donated 10 000 units of Paracetamol syrup (50 millilitres (mm) per unit); 5 000 Paracetamol tablets and more than 100 000 disposable syringes.
Haufiku explained that yellow fever is part of the haemorrhagic fever group of diseases. It is almost similar to Ebola, damages blood vessels and causes internal bleeding.
Yellow fever spreads through mosquito bites and is often fatal if one does not receive a preventative vaccination, he said.
Preventative vaccines are available at both public and private health facilities.
As of 21 March this year, 16 of the Angolas 18 provinces have reported suspected cases of yellow fever, of which 13 have reported imported cases linked to Luanda, according to a WHO report dated 22 March 2016.
The report also stated that to date, at least 1 132 suspected and confirmed cases have been reported nationally, including 168 deaths. A total of 375 cases have been laboratory-confirmed. Luanda, the outbreak epicentre, remains the main affected province with 818 cases (281 confirmed), including 129 deaths. However, the number of cases reported in provinces other than Luanda is apparently increasing.