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Hand washing helps contain Hepatitis E

2019-02-21  Nuusita Ashipala

Hand washing helps contain Hepatitis E

ONGWEDIVA - The Director of Health in Omusati Region, Alfons Amoomo has appealed to stakeholders to fully embrace the ‘wash your hands’ campaign as a Hepatitis E control measure.

Amoomo is convinced if all stakeholders could support the campaign this would reduce the number of Hepatis E cases.
“We need the directorate of education, church and even the politicians to use every opportunity to spread the ‘wash your hands with running water and soap’ message in order to educate a wider audience,” said Amoomo.

Amoomo in an interview with New Era said there was a slight reduction in the statistics last week.
So far the region has recorded a total of 98 confirmed cases between January last year and early February this year and has claimed the lives of three pregnant women.

Amongst the confirmed cases the largest percentage of 63 percent travelled from areas where there is Hepatitis E outbreak and only a meagre of 20 percent had no travelling history to Windhoek or the DRC settlement in Swakopmund.
The others were cases of people who have had direct contact with people who had travelled to Windhoek or those who had travelled to Angola where the hygiene standards are low.

Giving an insight of the virus, Amoomo said the virus is prone in people with a low immune system and people in the range of 20-40 and is more common in males than females.

In addition to washing hands, Amoomo appealed to the community to put up tippy taps within their communities as well as to construct pit latrines especially in the villages in order to put an end to open defecation.
He said there are community health workers in communities that can assist with putting up the tippy taps.
Tippy taps are manmade taps put up at places such as pit latrines, areas where food is served as well as at places where the masses gather.

In addition, the Health Director appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to avail potable water, as there are still people drinking water from open water sources, making it a challenge.
He also appealed to the community to seek early treatment once they observe they have Hepatitis E related symptoms.

2019-02-21  Nuusita Ashipala

Tags: Oshana
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