KALKFELD - The Otjozondjupa Region has recorded 616 tuberculosis (TB) cases in 2017, of which 46 were at drug resistant level.
These figures were revealed on Thursday by a senior registered nurse at Otjiwarongo State Hospital Hilma Muhenje, who spoke at a graduation ceremony of Women’s Action for Development (WAD) trainees.
Muhenje said that the majority of the TB cases were from Tsumkwe Constituency. Malaria cases in the region stood at 418, with most of them originating from Okakarara and Grootfontein districts.
“More than 90 percent of households were reached with Malaria indoor residual spraying. Other than the Malaria cases, two cases of Hepatitis E were also reported in Otjiwarongo and Okahandja districts each,” she explained when she delivering the regional health status.
She continued by saying that according to the National HIV Sentinel Survey of 2016, the Otjozondjupa regional HIV prevalence was at 16 percent while it was highest at 23 percent in Otjiwarongo district.
“The total number of clients ever registered on Antiretroviral treatment were more than 22, 000 while 9,000 are active on Antiretroviral treatment. More than 22, 000 people tested for HIV and about 1000 of them tested HIV positive. Around 800 clients had voluntary medical male circumcision performed,” she said. In addition, male condoms distributed were almost 700 000 in the entire region.
Furthermore, Muhenje said that the Otjiwarongo district has recorded the highest number of high blood pressure as a non-communicable disease in the region.
More than 672 people were seen for social problems such as suicide, alcohol and marital problems, while 46 attempted suicide cases were reported.
Teenage pregnancy rate is at 18 percent although 27 percent of teenagers made use of family planning methods in the same period.
According to her, women who attended antenatal care in the region were at 87 percent while those who gave birth in the health facilities were at 77 percent. It was noted with concern that many women give birth without booking for antenatal care, many report very late to the health facilities to give birth, while others gave birth at home.
“The only way to prevent complications and death of these mothers is when they give birth under the care of trained health care workers, but this requires the active involvement of their male partners,” she said.
In the region, there are 78 community health workers who are deployed in Okakarara, Grootfontein and Otjiwarongo health districts, and their role is to ensure increase in access to and coverage of promotive, preventive rehabilitative and basic curative services mainly focusing on maternal neonatal, child health and nutrition at the community level.
Muhenje said that the success of ensuring health for all Namibians can only be ensured if all people acknowledge that health is a human right issue and all sectors are investing more resources to adequately address health priorities in the region.