6 000 malaria cases recorded in 90 days

Home National 6 000 malaria cases recorded in 90 days
6 000 malaria cases recorded in 90 days

RUNDU – Over 6 000 malaria cases have been recorded between January and March this year, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has revealed.

Shangula made the revelations on Monday during the commemoration of World Health Day in Rundu, stating that from January to March this year, a total of 6 147 malaria cases were reported.

Both the death toll and admissions have more than doubled when juxtaposed against the same period last year.

“There are 630 admissions and 15 deaths this year compared to 287 admissions and six deaths, respectively last year. This is a source of concern to me, and we must do more to address this situation and reduce the number of cases and deaths in our country,’’ Shangula said.

He continued: “In Namibia, malaria is endemic in 10 out of the 14 regions, namely, here in Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Zambezi, Omusati, Oshana, Kunene, Oshikoto, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa.

“We know that effective evidence-based tools and interventions have been developed to eliminate malaria. These include anti-malaria medicines, long-lasting insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spraying (IRS) and scaling up behavioural change efforts to encourage uptake and ownership of these interventions at community level through the ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ campaign that will run until 2027.”

The minister also encouraged the public to immediately visit the nearest health facility when they feel unwell or experience any malaria symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle or joint pain, shivering and chills, nausea and vomiting as well as fatigue.  

“Let us each do our part to prevent malaria deaths in our communities. We can defeat malaria by allowing the spray men or women to carry out indoor residual spraying of houses. We can defeat malaria through the correct use of personal protective equipment and wearing long sleeves, and trousers. We must clear grass around our houses, and sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets every night. Together, we can reduce malaria cases among our communities,” he said.

This year’s commemoration was held under the theme ‘My Health, My Right’.  

According to the health ministry, the theme was chosen to champion the right of everyone to enjoy access to quality healthcare services, health education and information, as well as access to potable water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.  

– jmuyamba@nepc.com.na