Government has spent over N$8 billion during the 2020/21 financial year on the public health sector.
The health ministry’s executive director Ben Nangombe said in his response to questions from New Era that for the past three years, government has spent about N$22 billion on public health, with the highest allocation coming during the last financial year.
This was largely due to the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry has five major programmes and a broad range of activities, including health systems’ planning and management, curative and clinical health, public health, social welfare, policy coordination and support services. Since 2017, government embarked on a malaria elimination strategy, with the goal of achieving zero local transmission of malaria cases in the country by 2022.
The full implementation of this strategy is estimated to cost N$1.3 billion, with approximately N$260 million required annually for five years.
“The government commits approximately N$160 million every year, while development partners contribute approximately N$16 million annually.
Over the last three years, a total of 48 491 malaria cases were reported,” stated Nangombe.
In 2018, about 32 234 cases were reported, 3 025 in 2019, and 13 232 in 2020, while by July this year, 11 720 malaria cases have already been reported.
“The ministry ensures the appropriate and required coverage of interventions to protect the population at risk of malaria on a yearly basis, and this also depends on human behaviour, including environmental factors (rainfall, temperature and humidity) that influence malaria transmission in the country,” he added.
The ministry also explores a number of avenues to ensure that the right treatments in the right quantities and at the right cost are delivered. Interventions include capacitating health workers on malaria case management to ensure only the right malaria cases are identified and treated, strengthening data systems that help inform where the real issues are to enable the targeting of interventions and avoid wastage, and investments in quality and targeted malaria vector control programmes such as the annual indoor residual spraying of households in risky areas to minimise the spread of malaria.