Three quarters of world population at risk of contracting malaria: Haufiku

09 Nov 2018 19:30pm
SHAMBYU, 09 NOV (NAMPA) – Seventy-five per cent of the world’s population is at risk of contracting malaria according to estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Minister of Health and Social Services Bernard Haufiku has said.
“The world is not safe and southern Africa is even more in danger given all other social problems it faces,” the minister said during the commemoration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) 2018 Malaria Awareness Day at Shambyu on Friday.
Haufiku said 90 per cent of all malaria cases are in sub-Saharan Africa and 92 per cent of the people who die from malaria are in this part of the world.
“The southern part of Namibia is fairly free of malaria, whilst the problem and battlefield of malaria is in the two Kavango regions,” he said.
He went on to say malaria is a deadly disease thus Namibians “should not relax”, especially since it is one of eight countries that must eliminate the disease by 2020.
Haufiku added that Namibia will only succeed at eliminating malaria if it strengthens people on the ground such as community members and leaders, church leaders and traditional leaders.
“Namibia needs to re-strategise on how to eliminate malaria as there are 66 141 malaria reported cases currently… What is it that we are missing? Eighty per cent of these cases are from the Kavango East Region,” Haufiku said, adding that in 2012, cases of the disease went down to as little as 3 000.
He then said one thing missing in Namibia is volunteerism.
“I have never been to a village and not come across a volunteer from America or Germany. Why are we not volunteering as Namibians?” he asked.
The event was amongst others attended by the Malaria Elimination 8 (E8) Ambassador, Richard Kamwi and WHO Country Representative, Charles Sagoe-Moses, as well as ministers from Angola, Botswana, Malawi and Tanzania.
The E8 refers to eight southern African countries with the highest malaria transmission and deaths. They are Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.