WINDHOEK - There is need to intensify the provision of essential municipal services such as water and sanitation in order to contain the hepatitis E outbreak as more people are being infected by the disease.
This was said by City of Windhoek Councillor Loide Kaiyamo who delivered a statement at the late commemoration of global hand washing day at Goreangab informal settlement yesterday. Worldwide, the event was commemorated on Monday, October 15.
In her remarks she said the health and hygiene promotion campaigns should focus on promoting hand washing with clean water and soap.
“Unfortunately, despite interventions being put in place to contain the outbreak, the cases of hepatitis E are still increasing,” noted Kaiyamo.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services declared an outbreak of hepatitis E on December 14 last year.
To date, there are 3,630 cases of hepatitis E virus in seven of the country’s 14 regions. And so far, 31 deaths have been reported, of which 14 are maternal deaths.
The event also coincided with the health and hygiene promotion month, which was equally observed at the occasion.
The City of Windhoek, the United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF), the Namibia Red Cross Society and other stakeholders gathered to speak on the importance of hand washing.
Kaiyamo said the commemoration was to re-emphasise the importance of washing hands with clean water and soap as the primary and most effective barrier to preventing diseases among communities.
“Clean hands – a recipe for health,” was the theme for the event.
“This theme reminds us to make hand washing a part of every meal and at all times to wash with clean water and soap at critical times, especially before eating, cooking and after visiting the toilet,” she said.