Malaria elimination efforts intensify in Oshikoto despite challenges

The Ministry of Health and Social Services' malaria ambassador for Oshikoto, Vilho Nuunyango, is determined to eradicate malaria in the region despite facing several challenges. Nuunyango expressed this commitment during a courtesy visit to the office of Oshikoto Governor Penda Ya Ndakolo on Wednesday. 'We want to fulfil our vision of eliminating malaria in the whole of Oshikoto by the end of this year,' said Nuunyango. The health ministry's regional chief environmental health practitioner, Padelia Ngenokesho, provided an overview of the malaria situation in the Oshikoto Region, saying a total of 11 000 malaria cases were reported in the entire country last year, with Oshikoto contributing 300 cases. Meanwhile, a total of 186 cases have been reported in the region this year. Ngenokesho pointed out that some cases originated from people within the region, while others were imported from friends and relatives in Angola. She said 78 malaria cases were traced back to Angola and emphasised the need for the g overnment to exercise caution regarding the migration of people into the country and ensure they receive treatment to prevent the spread of malaria. Ngenokesho commended the ministry for its efforts in treating malaria patients and consistently investigating malaria cases. She also encouraged the use of mosquito nets, saying they are strategically designed to prevent the spread of malaria. 'We have learned that certain individuals use mosquito nets to catch fish and build their poultry shelters, and we discourage them from doing this,' said Ngenokesho. She called upon local authorities in the region to take ownership and assist the ministry in preventing malaria and spreading awareness. 'Malaria does not affect the ministry alone, but whole communities. Local authorities should provide services to curb malaria while the ministry is catering to villages and other rural areas,' Ngenokesho said. She said the ministry is working to eliminate cases by adopting various policies and strategies to accelerate the fight against malaria. 'We want to be the first region to eliminate malaria by using different divisions in our ministry, as well as [for] pastors to create awareness and eventually eliminate these cases,' said Ngenokesho. Source: The Namibian Press Agency