No announcement yet.

Namibia- total 51 cases

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Namibia- total 51 cases

    <TABLE border=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD align=left>August 13, 2009]</TD><TD align=right></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    Aug 13, 2009

    -- NAMIBIA is on high alert over the outbreak of H1N1 flu after the number of confirmed 'swine flu' cases in the country rose to 10, but Health and Social Services Minister Richard Kamwi has urged people to stay calm. "There is no reason to panic," Dr Kamwi assured The Namibian yesterdayThe logistics are in place and there are enough trained health personnel, Tamiflu and money to keep the situation under control, the Minister said. "We've got the support of President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Cabinet," he said.

    Dr Kamwi said worried people even phone him on his mobile, seeking reassurance. "They want to know if we are safe." The spreading of H1N1, like any other flu, is to be expected, he said. "However, I am consoled by the fact that the case fatality is extremely low," Dr Kamwi said. Nobody in Namibia has died of H1N1 yet, and the ten confirmed cases are all well again.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 160 000 cases of H1N1 have been confirmed worldwide, and 1 154 people have died of flu-related symptoms. That means that less than one per cent of all people diagnosed with the disease succumb to it.

    Speaking at the St Mary's Catholic Hospital at Rehoboth, where H1N1 flu first broke out on July 17, Dr Kamwi was quoted by Nampa on Tuesday as saying that Namibia is on high alert.

    Three new cases of H1N1 were confirmed on Tuesday, one in Windhoek and two at Swakopmund.

    Dr Richard Gariseb, Acting Chairman of the National Health Emergency Management Committee (NHEMC), told The Namibian he expects new statistics on suspected cases today.

    Meanwhile, the two pupils at Swakopmund Secondary School who were diagnosed with the H1N1 flu are back at school and as "fit as fiddles", headmaster Leon Visagie told The Namibian yesterday.

    The boy and girl (aged 16 and 17) were part of a group of 49 pupils who recently participated in the ATKV choir competition in Bloemfontein, South Africa. According to Visagie, some of the children became ill with the flu.

    "We informed the doctors here of the cases and they came in to test all those that went on the trip. In the meantime, they are all in a separate examination classroom to ensure the possible spread of the flu is limited. They all were given face masks and medical treatment," he told The Namibian.

    Visagie said he was not informed of the children's diagnosis before the media reported on it. Only after the media covered the story yesterday did a representative of the Erongo Health Directorate inform him of the two positive cases at his school.

    "They said that the children should remain in a separate class. If no other positive results are received by Sunday, then the children will be allowed to join the rest of the school," he said. Visagie said the pupils were writing exams at the moment and it was decided not to disrupt the examinations - hence the isolation of sick children and face masks.

    "We would have taken these precautionary measures until we had word from the Ministry of Health," he said. One of the victims' father told The Namibian that when they heard that their child possibly had swine flu they got a "big fright".

    "One gets a very big fright when one hears that one's child has got the virus. I'm just glad she is healthy again, but we will continue to monitor the situation in any case," he said.

    Meanwhile, Dr Kamwi has called on pupils who experience flu symptoms to seek medical help immediately. Should they be diagnosed with the virus, sick children must be isolated so that classes can continue, he said.

    Of the 10 confirmed H1N1 cases, three were reported in Windhoek in the Khomas Region, three at Rehoboth in the Hardap Region, one at Ovitoto in the Otjozondjupa Region, one at Gobabis in the Omaheke Region and two at Swakopmund in the Erongo Region.<!--TMC_CONTENT_BODY_U2_END-->

  • #2
    Re: Country on High Flu Alert- total 20 cases


    Namibia: Flu Worries Rise As Three New Cases Confirmed

    Jo-Mar? Duddy

    19 August 2009

    AS the number of confirmed H1N1 flu cases in Namibia climbed by three to hit 20 yesterday, the National Health Emergency Management Committee (NHEMC) asked the Office of the Prime Minister to call up a national task force to help deal with the outbreak.

    In the meantime, the NHEMC has secured more medical experts from the WHO. The news comes as a 16-month-old baby boy, diagnosed with pneumonia and also suspected of having H1N1 flu, fights for his life in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Windhoek Central Hospital.

    The three new confirmed cases are also three baby boys. The toddler in ICU was admitted on Saturday, swabbed for the virus and put on treatment for 'swine flu', as A(H1N1) influenza is commonly known, NHEMC Chairman Dr Jack Vries said yesterday.

    The National Institute for Pathology (NIP) is still waiting for his test results. Dr Vries also confirmed that all three new cases are from Rehoboth.

    Although the babies, aged between eight and 20 months, were "critically ill" when they were taken to the H1N1 clinic at Rehoboth earlier this month, they received immediate treatment and have since fully recovered.

    "They are now all playing at their homes," Dr Vries said. Although the ages of confirmed H1N1 flu patients in Namibia range from eight months to 78 years, the latest information clearly shows that young children, especially those under five years, are particularly vulnerable to the virus, the NHEMC team warned.

    Since H1N1 broke out in Namibia a month ago, 170 people have been tested for the virus, of whom 107 were negative. The results for 41 suspected cases have not been received yet.

    Nobody has died from H1N1 in Namibia yet, but the number of confirmed cases has increased by ten in the past week alone. The sudden increase in cases - which include a doctor and a nurse at Rehoboth - clearly alarmed the NHEMC during their bi-weekly briefing yesterday.

    "This thing is getting too big, we can't handle it alone anymore," Vries said. His fears were echoed by reports from Sapa yesterday, quoting experts who warned that poverty, disease and overburdened health systems make Africa an easy target for the A(H1N1) virus.

    "Sub-Saharan Africa is hosting 66 per cent of the total burden of the HIV-AIDS pandemic, 31 per cent of tuberculosis and 86 per cent of the total burden of malaria," WHO Regional Director Luis Gomes Sambo told a conference on the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, the NHEMC has contacted the Office of the Prime Minister, requesting that the flu outbreak be tackled by a national task force from all sectors so that the country would be ready should the outbreak start affecting its workforce or vital sectors such as energy or communication.

    The committee also secured the expertise of another specialist from the WHO, Dr Lawson Ahadzie, an epidemiologist who joined the WHO's Dr Desta Tiruneh on the panel yesterday.

    Furthermore, The Namibian has learnt that an expert from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has arrived in Windhoek. The NHEMC is also revisiting the national preparedness programme.

    The WHO has requested that the new programme include a "worst-case scenario" and plans for an emergency simulation, as well as a target group and cost estimate for H1N1 vaccines.

    The vaccine can cost anything from US$5 to US$20 per dose, and preliminary budgeting shows that it will cost Namibia about N$10 million for selective vaccination if the country has to foot the entire bill.

    Government has budgeted N$8 million to fight H1N1 this year, of which only N$2,5 million has been used so far. For next year, Government set aside N$6 million, while N$5 million is available for 2011.

    Dr Vries made it clear that not everybody will be vaccinated against A(H1N1) influenza. A possible target group might include health workers, young children, pupils and students, teachers and lecturers, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.

    People not vaccinated who get infected, will still be treated with Tamiflu. According to the latest statistics, Namibia still has a healthy stockpile of Tamiflu. Of the 20 000 doses originally bought, 18 700 are still available.

    According to the latest figures, the regional breakdown for confirmed H1N1 cases are: Hardap (9), Erongo (4), Khomas (3), Omaheke (2), Karas (1) and Otjozondjupa (1).


    • #3
      Re: Country on High Flu Alert- total 20 cases

      For those, like me, who are geographically challenged ....

      Republic of Namibia
      Area: 823,145 sq. km. (320,827 sq. mi.); the size of Texas and Louisiana combined.
      Cities: Capital--Windhoek (2001 census) pop. 233,529. Other cities--Grootfontein, Katima Mulilo, Keetmanshoop, Luderitz, Ondangwa, Oranjemund, Oshakati, Otjiwarongo, Swakopmund, Tsumeb, Walvis Bay.
      Terrain: Varies from coastal desert to semiarid mountains and plateau.
      Climate: Semidesert and high plateau.
      Nationality: Noun and adjective--Namibian(s).
      Population (2008, projected): 2.1 million.
      Average annual growth rate (2001 est.): 2.6%. The population growth rate is depressed by an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate estimated to be 15.3%.

      snipped from
      "In the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce man (or woman, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for it then costs nothing to be a patriot."- Mark TwainReason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Thomas Paine


      • #4
        Re: Country on High Flu Alert- total 34 cases


        11 more flu cases confirmed

        ELEVEN more cases of the H1N1 flu ? commonly known as ?swine flu? ? have been confirmed in Namibia, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 34.

        The Chairperson of the National Health Emergency Committee, Dr Jack Vries, yesterday told The Namibian that 11 of the latest 12 swabs sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa returned positive yesterday.
        He said three of the confirmed cases are from Grootfontein, two from Windhoek, three from Rehoboth, and one each from Swakopmund, Rundu and Otjiwarongo.
        All the patients were swabbed between August 11 and 18. Their ages range from one year to 41; six are male and five female.
        Eight regions of the country now have at least one confirmed case of the flu.
        In all, 212 suspected cases have been tested so far.
        The NHEMC is awaiting 42 more results from the NICD.
        Globally, the flu has exceeded 180 000 laboratory confirmed cases, with the actual number of cases expected to be far higher, as countries are no longer required to test and report individual cases. The World Health Organisation has also reported more than 1 800 flu-related deaths.
        In South Africa alone, the H1N1 infection rate has increased dramatically, with confirmed cases currently standing at 5 118 since it was first detected there in mid-June. Reports from South Africa indicate 20 flu-related deaths there. Most of them were pregnant women.


        • #5
          Re: Namibia- total 51 cases


          Namibia: Country to Do Own Flu Tests - DR Vries

          Jo-Mar? Duddy

          9 September 2009

          AS the number of H1N1 cases in Namibia increased to 51 yesterday, the National Health Emergency Management Committee (NHEMC) said its plans to test people for the flu locally are well underway.

          It said the Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to lease the necessary equipment to the Namibian Institute of Pathology (NIP).

          The date when Namibia will start testing its own H1N1 swabs is not yet known, but NHEMC Chairman Dr Jack Vries confirmed that the Ministry is not using its icycler real-time system (iQ) at the moment, and that the NIP is therefore allowed to use it. Training has already started and once the NIP begins to test, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will stand by to accredit the process, Dr Vries said.

          The NHEMC welcomed the news, as Namibia currently depends on South Africa to diagnose its H1N1 cases. On Monday, the NIP was left stranded as customs officials in South Africa went on strike and four samples could not be sent there for testing.

          Namibia's own facilities won't just cut dependency, but will also drastically reduce the time to get results, Dr Vries said. Currently it can take up to ten days, whereas results can be obtained within 24 hours if tests are done locally.

          Seven new cases of H1N1 flu have been confirmed since the weekend, Dr Vries said. Three were from Walvis Bay, of which two were men, 28 and 52 years old. In Windhoek, a man of 60 was diagnosed, as was a man of 33 from Rundu. Also in the North, a woman of 22 tested positive.

          Only one child, a one-year-old girl from Rehoboth, has been diagnosed with the flu since the weekend, Dr Vries said. They were all treated and have recovered fully, he stressed. Since H1N1 broke out in Namibia in July, 284 people have been tested. Of these, 184 tested negative and 43 tests are pending.

          Two tests got lost and four were rejected, Dr Vries said. Meanwhile, the NIP has tested 79 people for measles between August 1 and September 4. Of these, 38 tested positive. Two of these cases are from Windhoek - a 24-year-old man and a baby of three months. The rest are from the Engela District.

          Three of the people tested for measles are "borderline" cases, while 38 tests turned out negative.