Omuthiya – At least 50 cases of malaria have been reported in the Oshikoto Region between the second week of December and first week of January – however no deaths have been recorded so far.
Unlike in other African countries where malaria infects thousands of people Namibia has had a successful malaria control programme over the last ten years that has seen remarkable declines in transmission.
A total of 28 cases were reported in December and another 22 in the first week of January. This was far more than the number of cases recorded over the same period in 2015 when six were diagnosed, while in January only two cases were reported. The increase was as a result of pools of stagnant water due to recent good rains.
It is against this background that the Ministry of Health and Social Services has cautioned the community to drain any stagnant water around their houses and clear overgrown grass, which are normally ideal mosquito breeding grounds.
Furthermore people are urged to sleep under treated mosquito nets all the time, as well as use mosquito repellent or traditional herbs.
In addition, the ministry pleaded with the community to always allow men and women to spray their houses during the spraying programme to keep them protected.
According to the regional health director Peter Angala they will intensify awareness and alertness regarding malaria through distribution of educational flyers.
“Everyone with signs and symptoms of malaria such as fatigue, headaches, abdominal pains, vomiting, diarrhoea, back pains, fever, chills and sweating should visit a health facility and have a malaria test. This can be a rapid diagnostic test or blood slide microscopy. If tested positive the person is required to take a full course of malaria treatment as prescribed,” Angala advised.