Malaria, TB increase in Ohangwena

ONGWEDIVA, While there is grave concern on the increase of TB and malaria cases, the HIV prevalence rate in Ohangwena Regions has decreased slightly by 1 percent from 34 percent last year to 33 percent this year.

Giving the state of the region on Monday, the Governor of Ohangwena, Usko Nghaamwa said the TB statistics have escalated to 1107 making it the second highest after Khomas.

According to the governor, the situation is exasperated by the influx of patients from Angola with the most cases recorded at Engela District Hospital.

In addition to TB, he also expressed concern over the increase in malaria cases despite efforts by the various stakeholders to contain the disease.

Malaria last year claimed the lives of nine people of the 5440 cases recorded in the region.

During the year under review, only 4 percent of the 53 267 tested for HIV/AIDS have tested positive.

The number of people on Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs has this year also almost increased by 5000 compared to last year.

Last year, the number people on ARV's had dropped to 19 887 from 25 673, an indication that a high number were defaulting treatment.

However, according to the governor the number of ARV treatment has picked up again to 24 796.

Another concern to the region is the high rate of teenage pregnancy, 16 percent that has only reduced by 1 percent from the previous year.

Still on health, Nghaamwa said the region is still crippled by a lack of health personnel with the gap further widened by the 95 health workers who have not been recruited since they graduated next year.

The region has 95 health workers who graduated last year, but are still not yet recruited, which widens the gap between health facilities and home-based care services, said Nghaamwa.

He further said the region faces challenges such as income disparities, high unemployment and extreme poverty.

The unemployment rate in the region currently stands at 45.4 percent.

Despite the regional challenges, the region is determined to accelerate development in order to enhance economy and ensure prosperity for all in the region.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia