An Anthrax outbreak was experienced at the constituency in mid-January this year, and Head of veterinary services in northern Namibia, Dr Kenneth Shoombe has revealed that 26 500 animals are at risk of being infected in the constituency, with 16 952 vaccinated so far.
Shoombe said this over the weekend whilst briefing the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi during his visit to the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital, where people suffering of suspected Anthrax infection have been admitted.
According to Shoombe, so far only 17 000 doses of Anthrax vaccine have been received from Windhoek, while 23 000 more doses have been ordered.
He pointed out that 14 161 cattle, 777 donkeys and 2 014 sheep/goats have already been vaccinated since the veterinarian officials started with the vaccination campaign at various centres of the constituency on 18 January.
Twenty-one affected patients with lesions received treatment for Anthrax infection at Onandjokwe Hospital, while an elderly woman from Omadhiya village within the Oniipa Constituency and her 22-year-old son died as a result of that disease in the same hospital last month.
The Principal Medical Officer (PMO) at the Onandjokwe Hospital, Dr Godwin Murufu revealed that his hospital has already given Prophylaxis to a total of 6 288 people from Omadhiya village and surrounding villages.
“More vaccinations are needed in order to curtail a further spread of the disease,” Kamwi told the Oshikoto regional councillors, health and veterinary officials during the same consultative meeting at Onandjokwe last Friday.
He wants to see the officials moving fast with their vaccination campaign and at the same time suggested that the Anthrax vaccination campaign be conducted in all northern regions – Oshikoto, Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati.
“Now that we have human cases, we have to move fast. Vaccinate the cattle in all four northern regions to contain the disease,” Kamwi urged.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Namibia, Dr Magda Robalo accompanied the Health Minister to Onandjokwe.