Sunday, October 17, 2021

Transport shortages hinder fight against Malaria in Okavango

With the malaria transmission season coming to an end in June this year, North West District Council (NWDC) chairman Duncan Enga says the continuous shortage of vehicles to help carry out the indoor residual spraying exercise still remains a major concern, particularly in the Okavango Sub District where malaria is prevalent.

Places including Jao Flats, Gudigwa, and many others at flood plains are usually the most affected during this time of the year.

Addressing the NWDC full council on Monday, Enga pointed out that throughout the exercise which commenced in October 2017, only eight out of the initial ten land cruisers which the District Health Management Team had hoped to make use of were secured, something which nearly led to more challenges, looking at the vastness of the district. However he said just two months into the exercise, the National Aids Coordinating Agency (NACA) came to their rescue by bringing in two of their vehicles.

Already there has been one death reported out of the 154 cases of malaria recorded. 67% of the recorded cases are said to be from the Okavango sub district alone, while the rest were recorded at various areas in Ngamiland. “The district has been in contact tracing every index case detected as a way of establishing cases as early as possible so that the transmission cycle might be broken. We have pinned our hopes on all health facilities with the hope that they will sensitize communities through public education exercise, and along the process promote early health seeking behaviours”.He added “The rainy season and the recent floods is another big challenge for us as a district, considering that communities are now vulnerable to water borne diseases as well as other communicable diseases as a result”, said Enga.

Meanwhile the council chairman implored fellow councilors to talk sense into members of the public who are believed to be using insecticide treated nets for fishing purposes. He said the practice is so bad as it now defeats the purpose of doing away with the deadly disease. He further advised that people must always take precaution and report symptoms of the disease as soon as they notice them.

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