Over 2 400 malaria cases since January, 10 deaths

Kalumbi Shangula

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has recorded a high number of malaria cases in the country and has declared outbreaks in 15 districts.

Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula says a total of 15 endemic malaria districts have surpassed their epidemic threshold and have been declared as having outbreaks.

As of January 2024, Namibia has reported a total of 2 476 malaria cases.

About 292 involve hospital admissions, including severe cases, and 10 deaths.

The affected districts include Katima Mulilo with 936 malaria cases, Eenhana (275), Engela (216), Nkurenkuru (177), Andara (148), Okongo (131), Rundu (115), Nyanagana (72), Oshakati (67), Onandjokwe (64), Ncamagoro (49), Omuthiya (48), Tsumeb 33, Outapi (26), Oshikuku (24) and all the other districts recording about 145 cases.

“I emphasise the role of communities in our efforts to combat malaria. We need the full support of community leaders and communities in promoting awareness of the importance of seeking early treatment for malaria symptoms and adhering to the full course of treatment. Prevention is better than cure,” Shangula says.

He says the health ministry, together with relevant stakeholders, are working around the clock to strengthen the testing, diagnosis and treatment of malaria by ensuring that health facilities are equipped to manage high numbers of malaria patients.

He urges the public to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquito bites by allowing spray teams to spray their houses every year with World Health Organisation-approved insecticides, by sleeping in mosquito nets, and by talking to healthcare providers about preventive medicine.

“If you have travelled to an area where malaria occurs and you develop fever, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue, seek immediate medical care.

“It is important to note you are all at risk of contracting malaria. I urge the entire nation to remain vigilant and to take proactive steps to always protect themselves and their families from malaria.

“Let us all work together to ensure every individual affected by malaria receives the care and support they need. With effort we can overcome this outbreak and protect our communities,” Shangula says.

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