3 December 2018

Namibia: Malnutrition Is Beatable - Health Minister

Oshakati — In his quest to overcome malnutrition, the Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku has urged communities to prioritise and promote family and community health and nutrition.

He said the country could equally beat other illnesses including malaria, HIV and TB if the health system is strengthened across the board.

He said the process of beating malnutrition should be preceded with ensuring that expectant mothers attend antenatal care and deliver their babies at health care facilities.

In addition, the health minister also encouraged mothers to breast-feed and ensure their babies are vaccinated as required.

"We can beat and even eradicate malnutrition in Namibia; we can reduce to nominal levels, the number of mothers and their babies dying due to pregnancy related complications," Haufiku said.

Haufiku was speaking at the recent donation of medical and nutrition equipment to seven northern regions.

He said it is also possible to provide at least 90 percent of the population with clean water and sanitation as this mitigates disease.

Part of the interventions, which were made to reduce communicable diseases include the provision of safe toilets in 54 villages targeting 4070 households.

About 388 pit latrines were constructed all together, while 79 schools implemented the School Led Total Sanitation programme, while 43 teachers were trained to ensure promotion of hygiene at the schools.

The interventions were implemented through the 'health systems, strengthening to build resilience of children and their families affected by drought and flooding' project which was launched in February this year.

The project is a tripartite between the Namibian and Japan government and UNICEF.

In addition, about 700 health workers were also trained in life saving interventions with the figures expected to increase by the end of December.

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