Zero Malaria starts with me
Namibia’s malaria cases have been increasing steadily over the past few years and this necessitated WHO support to government through the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) to intensify malaria control interventions. WHO and MOHSS have been implementing a larviciding demonstration project for the past three years in five malarious districts selected from 5 regions namely Omusati, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Kavango East and Kavango West.
Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, WHO Representative and the Hon. Governor Bonifatius Wakudumo of the Kavango East Region visited projects in Mayana village in the Kavango East Region on 28 April 2022. The aim was to assess the impact of the 3-year pilot project aimed to bring malaria transmission to zero through larvaciding using environmentally friendly chemicals. They observed the implementation of different adult mosquito collection methodologies for monitoring the adult mosquito population density in the villages as well as the larval habitat mapping. They were also acquainted to the larval survey which is implemented for monitoring larvae activity and density in the breeding sites, and larviciding demonstration for controlling the mosquito larvae before they become adults.
Dr Sagoe-Moses and Hon Wakudumo further engaged the village leadership and beneficiaries to assess the impact of the project on the community and how well it was accepted. The community leadership, the beneficiaries and the field staff of the project shared their appreciation of the project and testified how it reduced the mosquitoes as well as the malaria cases in the villages. The project also demonstrated that with proper training and guidance, lay persons from the community can implement sophisticated vector control activities successfully, hence the need to strengthen community engagement and community ownership of the malaria control activities.
With the advent of COVID-19, an increase in malaria cases was observed globally and in country. In 2020 WHO’s World malaria report estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627 000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020, representing 14 million more cases in 2020 compared to 2019, and 69 000 more deaths. Namibia recorded more than 13,633 malaria cases and over 40 deaths nation-wide in the same year. In 2021, Namibia reported 13,740 malaria cases like that of 2020 and 15 deaths, a reduction from 43 deaths reported in 2020.
The project aims to strengthen National capabilities for the implementation and scaling up of evidence-based, innovative, diversified and environmentally sound malaria vector control interventions with particular focus on winter larviciding as an additional vector control tool to achieve malaria elimination by 2022. The project is funded by with funding from Global Environment Facility / United Nations Environment Programme / World Health Organization – African Region (GEF/UNEP/WHO-AFRO),
10 study villages were selected, and 35 field team members were recruited, including twenty (20) community members, 10 field operators and five (5) district coordinators i.e. environmental health practitioners (EHPs).
The project will end in June 2022 and its findings will contribute to scaling up diversified and environmentally sound malaria vector control interventions in the WHO Africa region and eventually contribute to malaria elimination.
Tel: +264 (0) 61 255 121
Email: kaunatjikec [at] who.int
Medical Officer: Maternal Health
Tel: +264-61-255 121/191
Fax: +264-61-204 6202
E-mail: sirakk [at] who.int