OKONGO - SADC Elimination-8 ambassador and former health minister Dr Richard Kamwi says malaria remains a major killer disease globally.
He stated the fight for eliminating malaria calls for synchronisation of activities such as indoor residual spraying along common borders.
Indoor residual spraying is provided for free by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. It is safe for humans and domestic animals.
He said malaria is curable, treatable and can be eliminated and eradicated.
In 2021 alone, 13 732 cases of malaria were confirmed countrywide.
Kamwi was speaking at the launch of the national indoor residual spraying campaign held at Okongo in the Ohangwena region on Thursday.
“We are all aware of the challenges ahead of us to eliminate malaria in the region by 2030 as prescribed in both the global targets and the E8 mandate. Namibia is well positioned to achieve this target as the malaria epidemiology is geographically defined and this has advantages particularly if the cross-border initiative is enhanced,” he said.
He urged people to seek early treatment if they experience malaria symptoms such as fever, nausea and vomiting, body chill and so on.
In a speech read on his behalf, Ohangwena governor Walde Ndevashiya said since January 2022, Namibia has recorded 10 800 confirmed cases of malaria and 30 malaria deaths nationwide.
The governor stressed that out of these cases, 6 696 originated from Zambezi region followed by Ohangwena with 1 080 cases, Kavango East with 864 and Kavango West with 648 cases.
“In Ohangwena region, our surveillance system indicates that Engela district recorded the highest number of confirmed malaria cases (540) amongst our three districts followed by Eenhana, with 373 and then Okongo with 163,” he said.
According to Ndevashiya, this year, Ohangwena region recorded 117 malaria admissions, a figure second to Zambezi region, which recorded 159 malaria admission cases.
Ndevashiya said community refusals for indoor residual spraying have contributed to the low national coverage reported in 2021, which stood at 23% instead of the required 85%.
“I, therefore, urge all community leaders and members to support the IRS campaign by allowing our health officials and spray operators to spray your houses.”
Caption: (Okango) Let us spray… SADC Elimination-8 ambassador and former health minister Dr Richard Kamwi.
Photo: Festus Hamalwa