KATIMA MULILO - Despite continuous efforts to eliminate the mosquito-borne infectious disease, the Zambezi region contributed the highest number of malaria cases in Namibia.
Zambezi regional acting health director Richard Likokoto said malaria is of great concern in the region.
He said, in the last two years, they have recorded eight deaths due to malaria from 6 577 reported cases.
Asked what type of malaria is mostly recorded
at hospital facilities in the region, Likokoto told New Era most of the malaria cases are uncomplicated, but last year, they recorded a significant number of complicated malaria leading to kidney failure and anaemia.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact number of complicated malaria cases,” he noted.
However, he mentioned that the ministry has measures in place to ensure residents are protected against mosquito bites which cause malaria. Among these ongoing measures include the conducting of indoor residual house spraying (IRS) which commenced this month [November]. The ministry carries out IRS to reduce the malaria mosquito population responsible for transmission as one of several prevention strategies.
Equally, he said the right recruitment of spray workers is underway.
“We have empowered the community with skills to conduct larviciding of stagnant water. We are conducting sensitisation and information dissemination on the use of treated mosquito nets. We are also encouraging the community about the importance of early health-seeking behaviour whenever they feel and suspect that they have signs and symptoms of malaria,” Likokoto said.
Additionally, the ministry also does reactive case detection and treats positive cases found in the community linked to the index cases.
He cautioned residents to take extra precautions when it comes to malaria by using treated mosquito nets and avoiding using them for unintended purposes.
Moreover, he called on residents to keep the environment clean and avoid the overgrowing of bushes and stagnant water. By doing so, the communities will reduce the breeding sites for mosquitoes. Another advice for residents is to keep indoors, especially after 18h00 and dress in long sleeves and trousers to avoid mosquito bites.
Zambezi residents are also encouraged to seek medical treatment whenever there are signs of sicknesses and get tested for malaria.
Importantly, he said people should allow health workers to conduct IRS during the campaign, cooperate and leave the structures open for the team of health workers to spray.