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Dwindling financial support and inadequate resources undermine fight against malaria

Dwindling financial support and inadequate resources undermine fight against malaria

The Ministry of Health and Social Services this week said that dwindling financial support and inadequate resources are posing significant roadblocks in the fight against malaria, Xinhua News agency reported.

Speaking at a meeting to review the progress towards achieving goals and targets,  Executive Director, Ben Nangombe emphasized that the lack of funding and essential tools is creating a critical situation, threatening to impede the progress made so far in the battle against this deadly disease.

The array of threats comprises reduced donor funding for the Malaria Control Programme, aging spray equipment, and shortages of vehicles used for the Indoor Residual Spraying.

Nangombe mentioned that Namibia has made considerable strides in combating malaria, significantly reducing the disease burden in the country over the past decade. He added that efforts such as indoor spraying and the introduction of new rapid diagnostic tools and drugs contributed to this progress.

However, Nangombe also noted that the incidence of malaria in Namibia has recently plateaued, with sporadic outbreaks reported in some regions due to heavy rainfall providing favorable breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Insecticide resistance and logistical challenges, including insecticide availability and delivery delays, have also posed additional hurdles, he said.

He stressed the need for reaffirming commitments, setting new targets, and implementing interventions to achieve them for the country to meet its goal of eliminating malaria by 2027.

Namibia’s National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan had initially aimed for malaria elimination by 2022 but faced challenges that necessitated a revised goal of achieving elimination by 2027. The new plan prioritizes strengthening malaria surveillance, intersectoral collaboration, advocacy for resource mobilization, and capacity building at various levels.

In 2022, Namibia saw positive progress in fighting malaria, with the number of cases reduced to ≤ 5 per 1000 people at risk in most health districts.


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