MAUN: Health practitioners have warned of a risk of people contracting Malaria in high numbers in this tourism town now that the rainy season is approaching.
Speaking at a stakeholder’s meeting here on Friday, Head of Preventive Services at Ngamiland District Health Management Team (DHMT) Goitsemang Mothibi noted that there had been numerous imported cases of the deadly disease from outside Botswana, particularly now that people from Ngamiland have been making frequent visits to Kasumbalesa which borders Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it is reported there is a lucrative market for dried fish.
Out of the 90 recorded cases, she said eight people were admitted to hospital and that one died. And in a district with a population of 98 871, she said they encountered problems when it came to conducting outreaches as some areas were not accessible by road.
She said the district had a total of 18 far-flung villages with only one hospital, 12 clinics, 17 health posts, 92 mobile stops, of which the total of 32 were accessed by air and 60 by road.
DHMT head Dr Maxwell Mungisi stated that the government, through the Ministry of Health, was aiming at achieving an elimination exercise by 2018. He said that they had put up strategies to accomplish this in partnership with all stakeholders concerned.
“We are aware that this region is the hottest as compared to others in the country, and so we are duty bound to see to it that we deal with malaria cases as they come. But to achieve this, we will ask for communities in this area to give us the best level of cooperation in order to achieve our set targets,” said Mungisi.
He said the transmission period was from October to June, adding that they wanted to target the plasmodium falciparum parasite, which transmits the disease so that they may be able to control it.
He stated that they wanted to be ready for the elimination exercise as malaria has proven to be a public health problem, though noticeable and preventable.