31 May 2012

Namibia: Kamwi Welcomes Malaria Plan

HEALTH Minister Richard Kamwi welcomed the introduction of the Global Plan for Insecticide Resistance Management to control malaria last week in Geneva.

The plan was introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the RBM Partnership.

At independence, Namibia adopted a malaria control strategy that includes the use of indoor residual spraying with 75 per cent DDT and the use of mosquito nets.

DDT and pyrethroids are the most used insecticides in the Southern African Development Community countries.

Namibia has reduced its number of malaria cases by 97 per cent and malaria deaths by 98 per cent between 2001 and 2011, which Kamwi said was thanks to the technical assistance from WHO.

He said the country has almost eliminated two malaria-carrying mosquito species and is now moving towards shrinking the geographic area of malaria transmission in southern Africa.

He said countries need to work with researchers to develop new and safer insecticides, which would mean large investments.

"But there is no quick fix for our ambitious goals of eradicating malaria in the long run. We need new, more, and better tools and we need them now," Kamwi said.

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