Malaria cases spike

Niël Terblanché

Namibia is currently experiencing a significant increase in malaria cases across 15 health districts.

The situation prompted the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) to declare a malaria outbreak in nine endemic regions.

Health minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, said that while the situation is serious, it does not constitute an epidemic yet.

“The sudden spike in cases has triggered an immediate response from regional health teams, who have been urged to bolster their surveillance and stock up on necessary supplies to manage severe cases of the disease,” he said.

Shangula stated that it is the ministry’s goal to eliminate malaria by 2027, aligning with the national malaria elimination strategic plan.

“The innovative vector control measures, including the use of Attractive Toxic Sugar Baits, are being tested to reduce mosquito populations and thereby cut down on the transmission of malaria,” Shangula explained.

The health ministry is also leveraging eco-friendly strategies such as indoor residual spraying and exploring the use of biological agents to combat mosquito populations.

Shangula said that these efforts are part of a broader regional initiative under the Elimination 8 (E8) partnership, which aims to achieve malaria elimination across southern Africa.

“Namibia’s commitment to eliminating malaria is supported by extensive collaboration under the E8 initiative, which involves shared strategies and resources among southern African countries to combat and eventually eradicate malaria,” he said.

The collective effort emphasizes the importance of adapting to climatic challenges and improving surveillance and prevention strategies to prevent future outbreaks.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that Namibia’s battle with malaria is influenced by various factors, including climate and regional stability.

According to the WHO, the country’s northern regions, such as Kavango East and West, are particularly prone to malaria, with these areas accounting for a significant portion of recent cases.

Heavy rains and flooding have exacerbated the situation by enhancing mosquito breeding sites, thereby increasing malaria transmission.

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