While the country is in the throes of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, cases of malaria caused by mosquitos are on the increase in the two Kavango regions, where the disease claimed 14 lives since January until last week on Wednesday, confirmed the chief medical officer.
These figures were recently revealed during an interview with the regional chief medical officer for the two regions, Dr Abiola Adesina.
The Kavango regions have over the years topped the country’s malaria statistics and this is attributed to the high rainfall experienced in this part of the country.
Last year, at the same time, the regions had 1 582 malaria cases.
“This rise is a result of the good rainfalls the regions received this year. Additionally, we had a low coverage of the indoor residual spraying during the last season, which also contributed to the high numbers,” further stated Adesina.
The chief medical officer noted the deaths are a result of people reporting cases of infection too late to the health facilities when the condition of the patients reaches a critical stage.
“Malaria is supposed to be simple and it can be treated easily; however, people don’t report to the hospital on time and this results in deaths,” further stated the senior medical doctor.
3% of malaria cases are imported from Angola; however, to curb this, the two countries collaborate and ensure they apply the same preventative measures, which include spraying at the same time and having the same awareness messages for their communities.
As part of the malaria prevention program, every year, the health ministry conducts indoor residual spraying (IRS) in the regions. The program is typically conducted from September to November – just before the onset of the rainy season.
Health ministry has teams assigned to four different districts in the regions to carry out the indoor residual spraying exercise. Additionally, these teams train community health workers who test and manage cases in different communities.
To stop the increase of malaria cases, Adesina encouraged communities to take care of their environments, ensure there is no stagnant water and to de-bush their surroundings.
Adesina implored those who are symptomatic to report early to health facilities near them.
He also advised those visiting malaria-endemic areas to take prophylaxis, preventative treatment of malaria. However, cases that were recorded in both rural and urban areas are expected to decline, as they normally rise during the rainy season before decreasing.
2020-07-02 10:02:01 | 3 months ago