Villagers Trained to Tackle Malaria

The Ministry of Health and Social Services in Kavango East recently trained 70 indoor residual sprayers to help combat the spread of malaria in Kavango East and Kavango West.

The training in indoor residual spraying took place at the malaria research camp at Popa from 4 – 15 August.

Sources said the trainees were carefully selected from village clusters at Nankudu in Kavango West and Andara district in Kavango East.

Presently the second group comprising 69 trainees from Nyangana and Rundu district in Kavango East is undergoing basic training at Popa on indoor spray residuals.

“We got these spray operators through their various village headmen and women who recommended them and they will go back and do the work in their clusters and these are people they trust with the job,” said Paulus Mpoko Hausiku the chief environmental health practitioner for Kavango in the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

According to Hausiku, the ministry of health will kick off the two-month indoor residual spraying campaign at the beginning of September.

“We are following the malaria vector strategy in Namibia. IRS (indoor residual spraying) is the key intervention for vector control which our country has carried out since 1964 and it has worked very well as we have the resources, skills and the experience,” he said.

Hausiku added the community as beneficiaries should welcome the spray operators in their households and homesteads.

He said the target to spray in exceess of 95 percent of households depends on community cooperation and in this vein he appealed to stakeholders, namely, churches, political parties and traditional authorities to create awareness.

However it was noted that one of the main challenges is that neighbouring Angola does not conduct IRS especially in the areas bordering the Kavango regions and thus the people living on the other side of the border spread the disease when they come to Namibia.

“For the programme to succeed we need more support in terms of logistics and other resources especially transport since it’s the backbone of the programme,” said Hausiku.

The insecticides used for traditional structures is Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) while Deltamethrine is used for modern houses.

Source : New Era