Hepatitis-E scourge continues – Outbreak response campaign relaunched
The hepatitis-E outbreak response campaign was re-launched over the weekend, in efforts to eliminate the spread of the disease and promote personal hygiene.
The spread of hepatitis-E remains a concern across the country, with the Khomas region recording the highest number of more than 177 cases, followed by the Erongo, Omusati and Oshana regions.
Bernard Haufiku, the health advisor to the presidency, said that the re-launch intends to address gaps identified with execution and implementation of the first awareness campaign launched in 2018.
“There were gaps identified in the implementation of the first campaign; such as poor coordination among stakeholders, lack of physical operational structure, weak community engagement and weak educational messages amongst other challenges,” Haufiku said.
In November 2017, the ministry declared a hepatitis-E outbreak, citing its origin from capital Windhoek’s informal settlements, including Havana and Goreangab.
“Havana and Goreangab areas remain highly vulnerable because sanitation in the areas is extremely poor,” said Martin David, constituency councilor.
Meanwhile, according to Haufiku, under the revamped campaign, robust provision of sanitation facilities should be undertaken, and activities facilitated through a central structure.
“The multi-stakeholder and multi-partnership national response coordinating committee is established, and an emergency operation center is set up in Windhoek to coordinate the response activities,” he added.
A total of 24 field epidemiologists will also be deployed in affected communities to educate and provide health care in affected communities, the government official said.