This Content Is Only For Subscribers
The Okavango District Health Management Team (DHMT) has experienced an increase in cases of malaria during the current transmission season which commenced in October last year and expected to end in May this year.
The DHMT has since advised residents to cooperate during the on-going indoor residual spraying (IRS) exercise in order to prevent the transmissions. The exercise started in October last year and will be completed end of February this year.
The local health authorities have revealed that from the current transmission season the malaria cases in the district stands at 49 as compared to the 16 cases that were recorded last year over the same period.
Okavango DHMT Coordinator Dr Bokwena Moali explained that the increase the district is currently experiencing of malaria cases was due to various factors.
Furthermore, she highlighted that one of the factors to the increase was that they were lagging behind with the indoor spraying exercise as a result of the shortage of insecticides last year and therefore they had to resume on the 6th January this year when they got the supplies.
Moali revealed that while they have managed to cover 72.2% during the previous indoor spraying exercise, their target for the current season is 85% coverage. She noted that they also intend to take their exercise to the villages that were not sprayed during the previous season.
Reaching targets remains a challenge as many residents have left their homes to the ploughing fields, making it difficult for the teams to access their houses.
She has urged residents to cooperate with the DHMT during this exercise as they increase in the cases indicates that it could become the worst transmission season.
Meanwhile, before the exercise was interrupted by shortage of residual insecticides last year, Okavango DHMT had already covered villages of Mohembo, Ghani, Samochima and Shakawe, while only Qangwa and Xaixai areas have so far been covered since the beginning of this year.
IRS is said to be a core vector control intervention that can rapidly reduce malaria transmission. It involves the application of a residual insecticide to internal walls and ceilings of housing structures where malaria vectors may come into contact with the insecticide.