Malaria key focus area for WHO visit
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) director-general, Dr Margaret Chan will visit the country on a four-day visit for the first time on 23 April.
Dr Chan’s visit coincides with World Malaria Day on 25 April which will be commemorated under the theme, “Sustain Gains. Save Lives. Invest in Malaria.”
The high-level mission will focus on efforts to accelerate malaria control and elimination, among other priority issues.
Chan will meet President Hifikepunye Pohamba; Prime Minister Nahas Angula; the First Lady of Namibia and patron of Maternal and Child Health, Penehupifo Pohamba; Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi; as well as parliamentarians, donors and representatives of the private sector. Priority issues will include enhancing cross border health collaboration with neighbouring countries. Also expected are discussions on health financing, given the global financial crisis’ impact on malaria funding.
World Malaria Day will be commemorated in Oshakati, one of the malaria endemic regions of Namibia. The overall aim of the Day will be to focus the attention of policy-makers, donors, partners and the wider public on the need to sustain progress in malaria prevention and control and to continue scaling up malaria interventions towards malaria elimination.
Prevention efforts through long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying have contributed to a significant reduction of malaria cases and deaths. In the WHO African region, malaria death rates have dropped by a third during the past decade, however, malaria transmission still occurs in about 100 countries around the world – killing an estimated 655,000 people every year.