Oshikoto creates taskforce to eliminate malaria
OMUTHIYA - The directorate of health in the Oshikoto has established a malaria elimination t as k force with var ious stakeholders in the region, in order to eliminate malaria by 2022 as per the national goal.
“The obj e c t ive of the committee is to see how we can mobilise resources from various stakeholders, for malaria elimination, malaria is a preventable and treatable disease,” said regional health director Josua Nghipangelwa during a stakeholders’ meeting at Okashana Rural Development Centre on Tuesday.
“However, people are still dying, therefore, we need to work together, learn from each other and support each other in fighting malaria.”
Over the past years, malaria has been a threat to the region and a number of death cases have been recorded.
According to statistics, Omuthiya district is the most affected followed by Tsumeb, then Onandjokwe.
Oshikoto recorded 12 343 cases of malaria since the beginning of this year, as opposed to 2019 where only 300 cases were recorded.
Furthermore, Nghipangelwa called for mobilisation and awareness campaigns to sensitise citizens so that they are informed on how to take care of themselves against malaria.
“The communities should be encouraged to keep their surroundings clean and free from stagnant water, make sure that every hole or opening to the rooms is sealed for the mosquitoes not to gain entry,” emphasised Nghipangelwa.
Beside cases from the remote areas of the region, the directorate also receives cases from the local authorities whereby 22 cases and one death were recorded in 2018 in the Tsumeb district.
Moreover, programmes such as indoor residual spraying (IRS) are in place to assist with the elimination, however, Oshikoto saw a significant decline in 2015 and 2016 with an all-time low in 2019.
While the ministry of health is targeting remote areas, local authorities also play an important role in conducting indoor residual spraying in their respective towns.
Oniipa Town Council was applauded for having been doing a wonderful job.
“If we do not hold hands and work together and do what is expected of us, malaria will still continue,” said Nghipangelwa.