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Namibia records decline in malaria deaths

WINDHOEK, 13 JUL (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Health and Social Services has recorded a decline of 51 per cent in malaria deaths in Namibia so far this year.
This was revealed by Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna in a report on malaria outbreaks in 2017 in Parliament on Wednesday.
She did not avail last year’s malaria figures, but said the number of malaria cases recorded from January 2017 to date were 38 243, with 63 deaths.
“This reflects a 51 per cent decline in deaths from malaria compared to the same period in 2016,” she said.
Kavetuna said at the beginning of the 2017 malaria transmission season, malaria outbreaks were detected in the Kavango East and West, Zambezi and Ohangwena regions.
The ministry carried out a robust response campaign in the affected areas using a strategy of mass testing and treatment, mop-up house spraying and social mobilisation.
In total, 181 373 people were tested as part of the campaign, of which 13 080 tested positive for malaria and were treated.
“Importation of malaria parasites from neighbouring countries, particularly Angola, was a major contributor to the epidemic observed in 2017,” the deputy minister said.
The ministry has thus begun to revitalise its relationship with its Angolan counterpart and a draft Memorandum of Understanding on cross-border collaboration is ready for submission to the Office of the Attorney-General.
Kavetuna, however, said an additional N.dollars 12.3 million is required for an effective malaria response for 2017/18.
The private sector responded positively with donations in cash and kind, while Government availed an additional N.dollars 2 million through the Office of the Prime Minister.
Development partners such as the Global Fund and Elimination 8 contributed almost N.dollars 1.7 million.
Spray operator training will begin on 01 September 2017, with spray operations ending no later than 30 November 2017 to provide maximum protection during the transmission season.

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