MoHSS to dispatch health workers to flooded regions

14 Mar 2017 09:50am
WINDHOEK, 14 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Health and Social Services will dispatch health workers to regions affected by floods and other areas prone to waterborne diseases.
In an interview with Nampa on Monday, Minister of Health Bernard Haufiku said a meeting was held with health workers who will be dispatched to the Kavango West and East, Ohangwena and Zambezi regions.
He said wherever water lodges; there is always a possibility of water-borne diseases such as cholera. The teams of health workers will therefore visit such areas to test and treat communities against water-borne diseases, including maleria.
The Health Ministry also approached the Ministry of Defence to assist them with a helicopter for the teams to reach villages in remote areas, said Haufiku.
The teams will also use public institutions such as schools and clinics as meeting points to distribute information regarding the prevention of water-borne diseases and malaria. The meeting points will also be temporarily transformed into centres for testing the communities.
“While we are treating and testing for malaria, we will also look out for possible cholera, snake bites and other diseases,” said Haufiku.
He said the likelihood of finding snakes in flooded areas are always high, as snakes also look for hiding places during the wet season.
As a result, when people come into contact with snakes, the reptiles feel threatened which might lead to someone getting bitten.
In the case of malaria, the minister cautioned people to drain any stagnant water around their houses and clear overgrown grass, which are ideal mosquito breeding grounds.
He further advised the public to take standard precautionary measures by protecting themselves and sleeping under treated mosquito nets, particularly pregnant women, as their situation can be complicated.
“Please protect yourselves all the times. Do not raise your long sleeve and use mosquito repellent,” cautioned Haufiku.
Earlier this year, a report in a local daily newspaper cited 102 new cases of malaria in the first week of January; a huge increase compared to 25 cases recorded in the same period last year.
The Oshana Region recorded 50 cases and three fatalities, while Oshikoto recorded 93 cases and no fatalities.