19 October 2017

Namibia: Sauyemwa Centre for Visually Impaired Gets Mosquito Nets

Rundu — The Sauyemwa centre for the visually impaired in Rundu received a donation of 21 treated mosquito nets from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN).

"We always try to offer assistance where needed. In this case we are giving 21 treated mosquito nets for free to the centre residents so that they can sleep under treated mosquito nets to prevent getting malaria from mosquitoes," said Martin Alfred, a field officer for ELCIN Department of Diakonia and Social Services for Kavango West, Kavango East and Zambezi Region.

Alfred handed over the nets through the ELCIN project against malaria.

ELCIN is involved in the fight against malaria in the northern and north-eastern regions.

"What the church is doing is responding to the government's call that churches meet government halfway. They should not only wait for government to provide for our people, but churches and every individual who is fortunate enough should support those who are in need of a helping hand," said Rundu Urban Constituency Councillor Victoria Kauma.

Kauma applauded the organisation for providing nets to the visually impaired.

"These nets will help prevent mosquito bites that can possibly lead to malaria. As the recipients you must take care of the nets as they will protect you from mosquitoes," she said.

She encouraged the community to support the fight against malaria in order to save people from dying of the deadly disease.

"Please don't forget to always sleep under a treated mosquito net," she urged.

This year 43,000 cases of malaria have been diagnosed in Namibia, 10 times more than the corresponding figure in 2012. There were 24,000 cases in 2016, and 34 deaths in 2017 compared to 104 deaths in 2016.

Of all the regions in Namibia, Kavango West had the highest number of malaria cases and mortality at 80 percent of all malaria cases in the country.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is currently running anti-malaria campaigns, hoping to bring an end to the deadly disease.

On September 28 the health minister, Dr Bernard Haufiku, launched the indoor, residual spraying (IRS) campaign as part of the anti-malaria initiative in Kavango West.

Haufiku strongly urged individuals, families and communities to take good care of their own health - most importantly, prevent ill health, whether it is by avoiding mosquito bites by following advice from healthcare professionals such as staying indoors from sunset to sunrise, wearing long-sleeved shirts or T-shirts, and long trousers or skirts; or if one is outside at dawn, avoid sitting near stagnant water where mosquitoes breed, and use mosquito nets and repellents.

During the launch Haufiku also advised Namibians to allow teams of health workers to spray their houses and rooms where mosquitoes hide.

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