By Anna Ingwafa
Health and Social Services Minister, Dr Richard Kamwi, has issued a stern warning to people who are using mosquito nets for fishing.
Kamwi said the situation is disheartening because the Government-distributed mosquito nets are treated with chemicals that could be fatal if swallowed.
In a meeting with health officials at Engela State Hospital in the Ohangwena Region yesterday, the Health Minister also warned of a possible malaria outbreak in the North.
He said the threat is not yet so severe because the mosquito eggs at the moment are flowing with the water, but “by April people must be careful”.
Kamwi urged parents to take care of their children under the age of five and make sure that they sleep under mosquito nets.
He emphasised that people should use boiled water for washing and drinking.
Oshana Regional Health Director, Dr Naftali Hamata, said over 600 flood victims sheltered at the Ongwediva Trade Fair and Oshakati Stadium have been given mosquito nets and water purification tablets to prevent malaria, cholera and other waterborne diseases.
These people are waiting to be relocated to a new site, where contractors are busy setting up toilets, tents and other much-needed facilities.
People living with HIV/Aids have also received bed nets because of the difficulty they could encounter if they were to contract malaria.
Hospitals in the Oshana Region have recorded 137 cases of malaria from last November to last month.
In the Omusati Region hospitals recorded 587 malaria cases, with six deaths. Three cases of malaria deaths occurred at Tsandi Hospital, two at Outapi Hospital and one case was reported at Oshikuku Hospital.
Epoko Clinic in Okalongo Constituency has reported a shortage of anti-malaria tablets.
Cases of malaria in the Ohangwena Region have not increased compared to the previous season, according to the Regional Health Director, Kaino Pohamba.
The Engela State Hospital recorded three deaths this year compared to last year’s six deaths during the same period.
Six private doctors have expressed their willingness to help whenever there is a shortage of doctors at public hospitals.
According to Hamata, some doctors from as far as Oshakati, Ondangwa and Windhoek have availed themselves.
Hamata said the Ohangwena and Oshana regions have indicated the need for extra doctors, while the Omusati Region has not made such a request yet.