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Malaria outbreak hits North-West District

CONCERNED: Ebutswe

The Northwest District, one of the areas hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, is currently going through another public health emergency as Malaria cases have been recorded in the region.

The acting head of Ngami District Health Management Team (DHMT), Sandra Maripe-Ebutswe revealed that as of last week, 113 Malaria cases had been recorded in Okavango while Ngami registered a total of 45 cases.

“As much as we have COVID-19 there are other conditions that are of public importance which may take our lives. Northwest is one of the regions which is a malaria endemic and prevention measures are key in protecting ourselves from Malaria,” highlighted Ebutswe.

According to Ebutswe the indoor residual spraying was completed in December with a 72% coverage.

As part of addressing the situation, Ebutswe revealed that they have since started a Malaria campaign that has since reached a total of 6488 people.

The malaria awareness messages, she said, are passed through community mobilization.

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Ebutswe however highlighted that they are faced with a challenge of shortage of resources. “We are short staffed; the same people who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19 are the ones who are also engaged in the Malaria outbreak.”

She added that, both malaria and COVID-19 require contact tracing and noted that they do not have enough resources including transport to arrest both situations.

Ebutswe has urged the public to clean their yards and avoid stagnant water in their surroundings.

She also encouraged those who have been given mosquito nets to use them properly and to always wear long sleeved clothing to reduce mosquito bites.

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