Malaria outbreak in northern Namibia

14 Mar 2017 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 14 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) on Tuesday announced the outbreak of malaria in the Ohangwena, Zambezi, and Kavango East and West regions, with regional teams deployed for an active response.
Addressing the media on the outbreak, Health Minister Bernard Haufiku said the regional teams would be supported by the national malaria programmes’ technical staff.
“Strategies involve teams being deployed to the village level for early diagnosis and treatment.”
More than 6 000 cases of malaria have been reported since the beginning of this year, with the Kavango and Zambezi regions having recorded the most.
Kavango West and East recorded 3 881 cases; Zambezi, 546; and Ohangwena, 490.
Haufiku noted that a national taskforce was formed to mobilise additional resources and fill key gaps.
“To this effect, 61 nurses and 10 Environmental Health staff have been recruited from non-malarious regions, as well as nursing schools and other partner organisations.”
He said Cabinet last Tuesday approved critical resource gaps for the annual spraying campaign, totalling N.dollars 12.3 million.
“Malaria elimination should be made a national priority for not only the Ministry of Health and Social Services alone, but the nation as a whole.”
The minister said about 18 fatalities to malaria were reported in the Kavango regions, whereas nine people died in Ohangwena since the beginning of 2017. Fewer fatalities were also recorded in the Omusati and Oshana regions.
He told some of the taskforce to be deployed that they have a big responsibility for a nation.
“You men and women have a big responsibility to the people living in these risk areas and I hope it is one that you do not take lightly.”
The MoHSS has engaged the Ministry of Defence for the use of their helicopters to reach remote areas.