17 Jul 2018 17:10pm
EENHANA, 17 JUL (NAMPA) Ohangwena Governor Usko Nghaamwa on Monday said he was disturbed by increasing cases of malaria in the region.
In his 2018 State of the Region Address (SORA) presented on his behalf at Eenhana, Nghaamwa said Ohangwena was declared a malaria outbreak region last year, with 5 440 confirmed cases and nine deaths.
Ohangwena was one of four regions affected by the outbreak, the others being Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi.
Director of Health and Social Services in the Ohangwena Region, John Hango in a telephonic interview with Nampa on Tuesday juxtaposed the 5 440 malaria cases recorded in the region in 2017 against the 1 871 and 3 194 cases for 2015 and 2016, respectively.
In total, 6 500 malaria cases were reported in the affected regions, with between 13 and 18 deaths reported in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions.
Despite challenges, efforts were made to curb malaria in collaboration with various stakeholders such as mass health education and screening, follow up contacts, mass malaria spraying and advance awareness campaigns, the governor said.
Another health concern in the region is tuberculosis (TB).
Nghaamwa said Ohangwena had the second highest number of TB cases after Khomas, with 1 107 cases of all forms of the disease reported in the region.
He said the Engela District Hospital recorded a high number of TB cases due to patients from neighbouring Angola.
However, he noted that much has been done to improve environmental structures of some health facilities and to improve ventilation by way of installation of fans and construction of outside shelters with sitting benches to minimise overcrowding and helping to reduce TB transmission.
Nghaamwa indicated that a slight decrease of 33 from 34 per cent of HIV prevalence was recorded in the tested TB patients during the year 2016/17 and all positive cases were placed on antiretroviral treatment.
The governor said in the 2016/17 financial year, 53 267 people were tested for HIV in Ohangwena and 2 146 tested positive. In total, 24 796 people are on ARV treatment in the region.
Only two cases of leprosy were reported in the region, Nghaamwa stated.
The Namibian Constitution mandates regional governors to once a year address their councils on the state of their respective regions, planned activities of central government in the regions, and activities of government in the regions during the previous year.