Lahja Nashuuta Windhoek-The ignorance among communities that are refusing to open their doors to health officials spraying houses against the spread of malaria, might be among the reasons that resulted in Namibia losing its ranking in combating the disease, at the recent continental awards. Although Namibia was among the countries that received the same award in 2016, this year the country failed to make it to the podium at the 30th African Union Summit in Ethiopia on Sunday at an awards ceremony that celebrates the reduction in the prevalence of malaria across the African continent. The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, put the blame squarely on the shoulders of members of communities who bar health officials from their homes when the officials try to spread their houses with anti-mosquito chemicals. African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) honoured six African countries during the 30th African Union Summit in Ethiopia on Sunday for exemplary leadership in reducing malaria, as the continent is endeavouring towards a malaria-free Africa by 2030. ALMA is a coalition of 49 African heads of state and government working across country and regional borders to achieve near-zero malaria deaths in Africa by 2030. The institution Scorecard for Accountability and Action tracks progress and drives action on malaria control and elimination, and is chosen by an independent committee of experts in health, academia and the private sector. The 2018 ALMA Awards for Excellence recipients are Madagascar, Gambia, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Algeria and Comoros. According to the statement provided by ALMA, Madagascar, Gambia, Senegal and Zimbabwe were awarded for reducing malaria cases by more than 20 percent from 2015 to 2016, while Algeria and Comoros were honoured for being on track to achieve a more than 40 percent drop in cases by 2020. ALMA indicated the criteria for this year’s award focused on the impact in reducing malaria incidence and also the progress towards meeting the 2020 milestone of the World Health Organization (WHO) Malaria Global Technical Strategy (GTS). Haufiku expressed his concern about communities, especially in Zambezi Region, that refuse to have their houses sprayed with mosquito insecticide, the chemical that kills mosquitoes and reduces the further spread of malaria. ““In order for Namibia to win the war against malaria, communities need to comply with measures put in place such as the use of mosquito nets and pesticides,” said Haufiku. The ALMA Awards for Excellence come just two months after the World Malaria Report revealed that progress was fragile and uneven in 2016. According to the statement provided by ALMA, more than 40 countries are on track to meet global elimination goals, yet cases went up by more than 20 percent in 25 countries, indicating a reversal in progress, including eight in the African region. Some 90 percent of all malaria cases and deaths still occur in Africa.
2018-02-01 09:02:27 7 months ago