Namibia has made tremendous progress in reducing malaria cases by 98 percent and deaths by 95 percent between 2001 and 2015. The country has thus met the Abuja Target and Millennium Development Goal 6 of reducing malaria mortality and morbidly by 60 percent.
Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services Juliet Kavetuna said this during the commemoration of World Malaria Day at Outapi in Omusati last Friday.
However, in 2014 the country observed the resurgence of malaria outbreaks and death cases increased in several regions. “The situation improved again somewhat in 2015, only to see focalised outbreaks occur again in the first quarter of 2016,” Kavetuna said.
During the current rainy season, malaria outbreaks were registered in most of the northern regions, including Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Kavango East and West, Omusati, Oshana and Zambezi.
She said the increases in malaria cases registered not only in Namibia, but also among southern Africa neighbours, such as Angola and Botswana.
“These outbreaks are linked to environmental and epidemiological changes in the country and in the neighbouring countries, but are particularly severe in areas with poor implementation of malaria interventions.
“We’ve done well so far in our effort to control the burden of malaria preventing hundreds of thousands cof ases and saving thousands of lives over the past years.,” she said.
She urged the country to better coordinate all interventions using available resources to increase the momentum against malaria.
For the past three years, regions in the northern borders of the country have reported increases in the numbers of malaria cases and deaths, with Kavango East and West topping the list, followed by Zambezi, Omusati and Ohangwena.
Over the past three months this geographical trend has continued. The Kavango, with 5 552 cases and Zambezi with 725 cases, top the list of most affected regions. The number of cases for [the past] three months in 2016 surpassed the record number of infections recorded over the same period in 2014 and 2015, Kavetuna said.
Kavetuna advised that the supervision of anti-malarial spray teams in the field would yield better and more effective outcomes.