‘Redouble anti-malaria efforts’
Windhoek – African countries must continue investing in interventions to stop the spread of malaria on the continent.
This was said by Namibia’s Health and Social Services Minister, Dr Richard Kamwi, at the July 14 launch of the Larval Source Management Operational Manual by WHO in Abuja, Nigeria.
The manual is a supplementary tool in malaria control and elimination.
Dr Kamwi said there had been a significant reduction in malaria in recent years. This, he noted, meant continued investment in Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets and Indoor Residual Spraying was of the utmost importance.
“It is therefore critical that we sustain the resources for these interventions,” said Dr Kamwi.
He said though the mosquito nuisance was reducing due to the effectiveness of current interventions, people in malaria-prone areas should continue to be encouraged to make use of treated nets. Dr Kamwi said countries must work closely with WHO for technical support in controlling and eliminating malaria.
“In Southern Africa for example Angola, is already assessing the epidemiological impact of (larval source management) on malaria with the help of WHO,” he pointed out.
“In Namibia we have persistently used and continue to use Indoor Residual Spraying with 75 percent dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) as our primary means of vector control supplemented with the use of (treated nets), two of the most powerful tools at our disposal to control, eliminate and eventually contribute to the eradication of malaria,” Dr Kamwi added.
Namibia’s Health Minister said the government had “carefully introduced larviciding in some of the urban and peri-urban areas of Rundu, Oshakati and Katima Mulilo, which are areas that were formally highly malarious and which border Angola”. He said Namibia – with several other SADC member states – was moving towards malaria elimination.