17 Jan 2014 15:20pm
OPUWO, 17 JAN (NAMPA) - The Governor of the Kunene Region, Josua //Hoebeb says unless safe water sources are provided to communities of the Etanga area, threats of waterborne diseases such as cholera will continue to haunt the region.
//Hoebeb was speaking to Nampa about the cholera outbreak in the region which has so far claimed 11 lives in a telephonic interview on Thursday.
He says he was concerned about the lack of proper water sources at Etanga during his visit to the area on Wednesday, and called on the community of the Kunene Region to continue being vigilant against cholera during the rainy season to avoid another outbreak.
The cholera situation in the Kunene Region has been brought under control with the efforts of different stakeholders and mostly the hard work of the staff of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The ministry brought nurses from all over the country and used different resources to fight the outbreak, //Hoebeb stated.
He added that the fight against the disease is not yet over despite it being brought under control for now, saying that the likelihood of cholera resurfacing is very high if community members do not maintain hygienic practices and drink unclean water from earth dams and open wells filled with rain water.
The Governor and the Minister of Health, Richard Kamwi visited Etanga Clinic on Wednesday to observe the situation at the village, which has hardest hit by the outbreak.
//Hoebeb said there were no patients in the tents erected to accommodate the huge numbers of cholera cases, and no new patients were treated for cholera at the Etanga Clinic between Monday and Wednesday when they visited the clinic.
The major concern is that most of the villagers in the area do not have access to boreholes, and used traditionally dug wells or survived from rainwater collected in earth dams.
The boreholes at Etanga which supplied water to Government institutions and the community both ran dry due to the drought conditions in the Kunene region over the past two years.
The village has now been provided with tanks filled with water at Opuwo. This is however just a temporary solution to see to it that all residents have access to clean water to avoid another cholera outbreak.
According to //Hoebeb, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry is busy working on different boreholes to ensure that the communities in the Etanga area are provided with proper water sources.
The Governor called on the community to continue using water purifying tablets, and to boil water before drinking it to avoid contracting the disease.
He said the community in the Etanga area has also been informed about what to do if they experience cholera symptoms, which includes using oral rehydration salts and going to the nearest health facility.