Malaria Campaign Begins

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By Surihe Gaomas

WINDHOEK

Malaria spraying campaign is in full swing, as health authorities prepare for the malaria season early next year.

The Southern African regional weather forecasts predict above average rainfall this year and Namibia is no exception.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has thus started an indoor malaria spraying campaign in the malaria prone regions of Caprivi, Kavango, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana and the northern part of Otjozondjupa.

The malaria spraying campaign, which normally starts in the middle of October runs up until the middle of December. The malaria season is mostly around March to April every year.

In an interview with New Era, Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, said everything is progressing well.

“We have the drugs in place and training is underway. We are aiming to reach beyond 80 percent coverage according to World Health Organisation malaria spraying requirements,” said Kamwi.

The Health Minister appealed for public cooperation when the spraying teams visit.

“We encourage the communities in that part of the country to remove all their luggage and food from the houses before spraying. All movable items must be taken outside,” said Kamwi.

The Health Minister urges Namibians, especially those in the malaria prone regions, to take precautionary measures by consulting the doctor two weeks before travelling to the north, buying mosquito treated nets and pregnant mothers to take extra precautions.

“We encourage all expectant mothers to make sure that they are not vulnerable to malaria infection and should be well protected during that period. All children under five years must also sleep under treated bed nets,” said Kamwi.

Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted through bites by infected mosquitoes. More than one million people die of malaria every year, mostly infants, young children and pregnant mothers with most of the deaths reported in Africa.

Although fatal, malaria calls for early diagnosis and prompt treatment. That is why is important to report any symptoms as early as possible.

Symptoms include mainly headaches, muscle pain, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry avail public information about the latest medical equipment to be installed at various State hospitals and clinics around the country next month.

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