Confirmed cases of malaria have been reported in regions where malaria had been eliminated. The majority of cases were reported in the Andara district, Rundu district , Nyanga and Katimo Mulilo. Travellers to these areas are advised to consult their health practitioner to obtain appropriate advice.
Namibia has reported 5966 cases of malaria in Omaheke, Kunene, Erongo, Hardap and Karas regions between January and March this year .
Speaking to The Namibian yesterday [10 Jul 2014], Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi said this was a concern because in some regions, malaria cases had been eliminated.
"I remain concerned that even in regions where we had eliminated malaria, such as Omaheke and Kunene, we have had some confirmed malaria cases," he said.
The majority of the cases were reported in Andara district with 3163 cases, Rundu District with 800 cases, Nyangana with 791 cases and Katima Mulilo with 455.
Kamwi said in 2013, the country reported 4733 malaria cases, which translates to a decline above 98 percent when compared to the baseline of 2001, when 583 267 cases were reported.
"I remain extremely concerned that Andara, with a population of 35 108 inhabitants, contributes to an equivalent of the national cases of 2013 just in 3 months time," Kamwi said.
He said malaria outbreaks were not only reported in Namibia but also in the E8 front line countries striving to eliminate malaria by 2020, i.e. Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland.
Kamwi added that houses that were not sprayed reported the most cases. "Some people declined for their houses to be sprayed, saying there is no more malaria. Our appeal is that people should work with community leaders when it's time for spraying. Malaria vectors cannot rest in a house that has been sprayed," Kamwi warned. He said all cases have been treated.
Currently in Kavango East, the Ministry of Health and Social Services is holding a malaria outbreak review and planning meeting, which started on Monday [7 Jul 2014] and ends today [10 Jul 2014].
A new report, which was released yesterday [10 Jul 2014], highlights the impact of malaria interventions on maternal, newborn and child health and stated that malaria in pregnancy exerts a heavy toll and contributes largely to maternal and neonatal mortality.
In Africa, 10 000 women and between 75 000 and 200 000 children under the age of one are estimated to die annually as a consequence of malaria infection during pregnancy.
Malaria is a major cause of anaemia in pregnant women and can lead to maternal death at delivery due to haemorrhage. It is also responsible for stillbirth, pre-term birth, and low birth weight, which increases the risk of death within the 1st days of the infant's life.