MALARIA cases in Namibia increased to 12 507 since the start of 2020 and so far 40 deaths related to the disease have been recorded.
Compared to the same period in 2019 the numbers show an increase of slightly less than 10 000 when only 2 841 cases were recorded.
Namibia recorded 31 000 cases of malaria in 2018.
The National Vector-borne Diseases Control Program from the Ministry of Health and Social Services which monitors the weekly malaria situation in the country shows that this year alone 12 507 malaria cases where recorded, while 40 deaths occurred.
The ministry said the huge difference in numbers between 2019 and this year is attributed to the fact that 2019, was an extremely dry year and the rainfall pattern was not similar to 2020 and 2018. That is the reason for the decline in malaria cases in 2019.
The Minister of Health and Social Service, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula earlier this year cautioned health officials to intensify efforts to address malaria within the Covid-19 context.
Ironically the increased number of deaths attributed to malaria this year is attributed to stringent restrictive measures that were introduced under the State of Emergency that slowed down the implementation of anti-malarial program activities.
The regulations that prohibit the gathering of more than ten people delayed the delivery of anti-malarial materials and medicines.
The health minister said although COVID-19 is dominating public discourse, it should be remembered that the other diseases are also still having an impact on people, and such diseases, like malaria, also need the correct attention from health officials to prevent fatalities.