On Monday, April 26th the Trans Kunene Malaria Initiative (TKMI) and the Anglican AIDS Programme (AAP) hosted an event in Ohongo, Namibia to commemorate World Malaria Day. The Minister of Health and Social Services of Omusati provided remarks, emphasizing Namibia’s remarkable progress towards malaria eliminaiton over the past decade. 120 community members and malaria volunteers were in attendance.
“We’ve done well so far in our effort to control the burden of malaria, preventing hundreds of thousands of cases and saving thousands of lives over the past years,” said the Minister.
The Minister also provided an overview of the current malaria situation in the area, sharing that the supervision of anti-malarial spray teams would yield even better outcomes for the surrounding communities. The Minister shared encouraging results from the 2016 Malaria Indicator Report, showing a number of achievements -- including the timely reporting of all malaria statistics, zero malaria mortality, a decrease in malaria morbidity, and the correct management of all malaria cases.
In addition to the remarks and speeches given, a drama group performed skits on the importance of malaria education, showing the audience examples of how malaria volunteers work within the community.
In Ohongo, community malaria volunteers are responsible for providing malaria education and sensitization, distributing bed nets, collecting household level data, and providing rapid diagnostic tests for malaria. These collective efforts contributed to a decrease in malaria incidence in Ohongo.
In recognition of Ohongo’s efforts, Jackie Park, Director of the Anglican AIDS Programme, presented Ohongo’s Headman with the Isdell: Flowers Community Malaria Award. Ohongo was announced as Nambia’s Community Award Winner at the 2016 Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative Annual Roundtable, held in February of this year. Of all communities involved with TKMI in Namibia, Ohongo experienced the greatest percentage drop in malaria cases and the highest percentage of long lasting insecticide net usage. Additionally, Ohongo was the community with the highest rentention of community volunteers, and displayed the best environmental management.
The day’s events ended with a closing prayer and a celebratory lunch.