14 Sep 2018 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 14 SEP (NAMPA) The Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaign was launched here on Friday by Minister of Health and Social Services, Bernard Haufiku.
The three-month programme will be carried out in the Kavango East and West, Oshana, Oshikoto, Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Ohangwena and Omusati regions from Monday.
The IRS campaign is the main malaria vector control strategy to reduce the malaria vector population and minimise its contact with people, Haufiku said during the launch.
Vector refers to an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite.
The minister said for the past four years, Namibia has been hit by a seasonal upsurge in malaria cases.
By June 2018, over 29 524 cases had been reported, 10 times more than the 2012 cases, Haufiku said.
Kavango East and West account for at least 81 per cent of the reported cases this year, followed by Zambezi with 11 per cent and Ohangwena with five per cent.
Haufiku said this was caused by home owners in these regions refusing sprayers entry to their homes, meaning most houses were not sprayed.
An increase in malaria cases was also observed in neighbouring countries such as Angola and Botswana and while it serves to highlight the regional nature of the disease, it also underlines the need to strengthen the uptake of Namibias malaria control interventions at all levels, he said.
During this years IRS campaign, 1 083 060 structures are targeted for spraying in all malaria regions by 1 542 trained personnel.
Representative of the World Health Organisation in Namibia, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, who also attended the event warned that the effectiveness of the programme lies in spraying.
I have heard that some operators dont actually spray the houses but mark that they have sprayed it, an act which does not help in winning the fight against malaria, he said, further urging the personnel to be committed.
The IRS campaign will cost the health ministry about N.dollars 40 million, of which N.dollars 800 000 was contributed by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.