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Namibia: 2018/2019 Hepatitis E

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  • Namibia: 2018/2019 Hepatitis E


    Outbreak of Hepatitis E virus in Windhoek
    News - National | 2017-12-20

    THE health ministry this morning announced the death of one person from Hepatitis E virus while 26 others tested positive for the virus in Windhoek.

    According to health minister Bernard Haufiku, eight more cases are pending as authorities are still waiting for results...

  • #2

    Namibia: More Than 150 Test Positive for Hepatitis E
    By Nomhle Kangootui

    THE health ministry yesterday said the number of people diagnosed with hepatitis E has increased to 152 since the outbreak about three weeks ago in Windhoek.

    Health minister Bernard Haufiku declared the outbreak on 14 December.

    At the time, Haufiku said the disease had killed one person, a pregnant mother, who died at the Katutura Intermediate Hospital.

    The health ministry's chief medical superintendent Dr David Uirab, who is also the acting permanent secretary, said things are not going as expected...


    • #3

      Hepatitis E ? Namibia

      Disease outbreak news
      15 January 2018

      During the week ending on 13 October 2017, the first identified case was admitted to a public hospital in Windhoek district, with signs and symptoms of hepatitis E. During the week ending on 8 January 2018, a total of 237 probable and confirmed cases have been seen at various health facilities in Windhoek district with the same signs and symptoms. All suspected patients tested negative for hepatitis A, B, and C. A total of 41 of the 237 cases were sent for further testing, and on 8 January 2018, the results showed 21 were IgM positive for hepatitis E. On 19 November 2017, there was one confirmed deceased case, a 26 year-old female, and four days prior to her death she had delivered a baby. The status of the baby is unknown. The majority of the cases were from Windhoek district, Khomas region.
      Figure 1: The number of patients seen with acute clinical jaundice in Windhoek district by week, from September 2017 to 8 January 2018 (n = 237)

      Public health response
      • On 14 December 2017, the national, regional, and district Health Emergency Management Committees were activated and the government of the city of Windhoek was informed of the outbreak.
      • Five different working groups have been formed to strengthen coordination and plan response activities under the following thematic areas; surveillance and laboratory, case management, coordination and logistics, WASH, environmental health, and social mobilization.
      • On 20 December 2017, the Minister of Health held a media briefing to educate the public about the outbreak with the participation of WHO and partners.
      • The Ministry of Health is currently leading the case management teams and all suspected cases have been referred to hospitals for treatment. To further strengthen surveillance and laboratory response activities, data collection and reporting tools have been distributed to health facilities. Case reporting and investigation, and line listing of cases have been enhanced.
      • An environmental health team from the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the City of Windhoek are currently conducting environmental investigations to identify exposures that led to the outbreak.
      • A national radio campaign to sensitize the affected communities to the risk of hepatitis E is ongoing as well as regular briefings of the public regarding the outbreak. The city of Windhoek has tested the water quality of the affected area and continues to monitor routinely.
      • The Ministry of Health has deployed a field epidemiologist to support the community engagement teams to ensure active case search and coordinated targeting of areas with active transmission. Beginning on 23 December 2017, orientations have been conducted to train Red Cross volunteers and community health workers to implement community sensitization and mobilization activities in areas at high risk of hepatitis E.
      • On 31 December 2017 a community engagement exercise was done to empower community leaders. The aim was to increase leaders? awareness of disease prevention measures and also develop culturally acceptable interventions to change behavior and practices which were contributing to the spread of the disease in the community.
      • Community leaders and health extension workers were also oriented to educate the community on early care seeking for individuals having signs and symptoms compatible with hepatitis E.

      WHO risk assessment

      Although hepatitis A, B, and C are common in Namibia, hepatitis E is rarely diagnosed in the country. As a result, the country has limited capacity for hepatitis E laboratory diagnosis. Additionally, the majority of hepatitis E cases have been reported from informal settlements within the capital district, Windhoek, where living conditions are poor. These areas are overcrowded, and have limited access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. Moreover, the holiday season will likely increase the movement of people within the country. All of these could be major contributing factors to this outbreak.
      Additionally, during the rainy season, people often use rainwater or other surface water for drinking and domestic uses. This likely increases the risk of hepatitis E infection. Therefore, the above-mentioned factors might lead to the propagation of the cases from this area to other informal settlements and its distribution to other towns or districts, with similar poor environmental health conditions. Thus, the overall risk is assessed as high at the national level and low at regional and global levels.
      WHO advice

      WHO recommends the improvement of access to safe water and proper sanitation through different methods, including at-home water purification techniques. The water quality should be regularly monitored in the affected areas. The number of latrines in different settlements should be increased to address the issue of open defecation. In addition, the waste management and the overall hygiene practices should be improved.
      Furthermore, the ongoing interventions should target at-risk population through the establishment of antenatal counseling for pregnant women, improving housing conditions for those living in these informal settlements and supporting the improvement of health facilities and patients care. The local and national reference laboratory capacities should be improved for timely confirmation of suspected cases.
      WHO does not recommend any restriction on travel and trade to Namibia on the basis of the information available on the current event. The implementation of general hygiene practices and other preventive measures listed above should be sufficient to prevent the disease.


      • #4

        Hepatitis E cases in Namibia rise to 490
        Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-25 21:52:10|Editor: Yurou

        WINDHOEK, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Hepatitis E case in Windhoek's informal sector have risen to 490, Namibia's health ministry said Thursday, while blaming poor sanitation for fueling the spread of diseases.

        Health Minister Bernard Haufiku told a media conference that to date the outbreak has caused two maternal deaths, with majority of the cases coming from Havana and Goreangab settlements...


        • #5

          Hepatitis E claims another victim
          News - National | 2018-02-02
          by Sakeus Iikela

          A PREGNANT woman has been confirmed dead from a suspected Hepatitis E related illness in Windhoek last week.

          Dr Lilliane Kahuika from the health ministry confirmed the death to The Namibian today. It occurred on 25 January 2018.

          This brings the number of deaths caused by Hepatitis related illness to three since the disease was declared an outbreak late last year.

          So far, all those who have died from the disease were all postpartum women...


          • #6

            Swakop reports Hepatitis E outbreak
            News - National | 2018-07-03
            by Adam Hartman

            THE Ministry of Health today confirmed four cases of Hepatitis E in the DRC informal settlement at Swakopmund.

            The chief medical officer - who is also the acting regional health director - Dr Amir Shaker said an additional 32 cases are being tested...


            • #7

              Hepatitis not only endemic to Khomas - Governor
              Alvine Kapitako Health Khomas
              2019-02-11 09:59:20 14 hours ago

              WINDHOEK - The Governor of the Khomas region, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, says the hepatitis E outbreak, which has now spread to 12 of the country?s 14 regions, is not a Windhoek issue.

              ?Namibians say it was a Windhoek issue. It never was by invitation,? said McLeod-Katjirua, adding that the disease could have started anywhere else in the country.

              The Ministry of Health and Social Services declared hepatitis E an outbreak on 14 December 2017 and the disease has since spread to other regions except for the Zambezi and //Kharas regions.

              Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Social Services show that as of 27 January 2019, a total 4 432 hepatitis E cases had been reported in Namibia.

              So far, 40 deaths have been reported and the death toll is disproportionately highest among pregnant women and those who have given birth, constituting 17 cases, which translates to 42.5 percent of deaths...


              • #8

                Feature: Namibia informal settlements in disease crisis
                Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-06 21:09:13|Editor: xuxin

                by Kaula Nhongo

                WINDHOEK, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The lack of basic services in Namibia's informal settlements has resulted in a disease outbreak crisis where health authorities have warned that if the situation is not controlled, it will have devastating effects in the near future.

                Nationwide, informal settlements have been struggling with a Hepatitis E outbreak since September 2017 where over 4,000 cases have been recorded with about 40 deaths.

                According to health officials, the situation can be considered as a crisis seeing that about 40 percent of Namibia's population reside in informal settlements.

                According to the statistics released in 2018, there were 308 informal settlements in Namibia, with a staggering 228,000 shacks accommodating about 995,000 people in urban areas.

                Since the settlements are illegal, service provision is limited.

                In the capital city Windhoek, the most affected areas include Havana, Goreangab Dam, Hakahana, Greenwell Matongo and Ombili.

                Just recently, more cases were detected in the coastal town of Swakopmund where 160 cases have so far been reported since July last year...


                • #9

                  Namibia re-launches response campaign to eliminate hepatitis-E outbreak
                  By -
                  Mar 17, 2019

                  The Namibian government re-launched the hepatitis-E outbreak response campaign here on Saturday, 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 aims 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 on Saturday during the launch.

                  The Ministry of Health and Social Services in November 2017 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...


                  • #10

                    Hepatitis E cases reported across 12 of Namibia's 14 regions
                    Wednesday, 10. April 2019 - 17:16

                    Hepatitis E is spreading rapidly across the country, with the outbreak now having been reported in 12 of the 14 regions.
                    So far the disease has claimed 41 lives most of whom are pregnant women and post-delivery women...


                    • #11

                      155 new hepatitis E cases reported
                      News - National | 2019-07-30
                      by Okeri Ngutjinazo

                      THE ministry of health has reported 155 new hepatitis E virus cases countrywide, with the most cases being in the Khomas and Erongo regions.

                      This was revealed yesterday by the health ministry's executive director, Ben Nangombe, in a press statement.

                      He said from 1 July to 14 July (week 27 and 28), the ministry recorded an increase in the number of reported cases, compared to weeks 25 and 26, which recorded the number of cases countrywide at 113.

                      The Khomas region recorded 89 cases, followed by Erongo with 22. Khomas accounted for 64% of the confirmed cases, and Erongo stood at 23%.

                      The remaining regions account for 711 (12%) of the reported cases, while 48 deaths have been reported.

                      The outbreak of hepatitis E in the country was first declared in Windhoek's Havana and Goreangab settlements in November 2017, before the virus spread to other regions such as Erongo, and to the northern areas of the country...


                      • #12

                        64 confirmed Hepatitis E cases in Kavango
                        John Muyamba National Kavango West
                        2019-08-13 07:06:56 7 hours ago

                        RUNDU - By Wednesday last week, 64 cases of hepatitis E were confirmed in the two Kavango regions, with recent cases rocking Mpungu village in Kavango West where one death was recorded and eight cases were diagnosed with the lethal virus, health officials say.

                        ?In Kavango West, they have recorded eight that are in Mpungu village, which is in the Nankudu health district, while in Kavango East, Rundu District has 42 cases and Andara District in Mukwe Constituency has 11 cases,? said chief medical officer, Abiola Adesina, at Kavango Health Directorate, which is in charge of the two Kavango regions...


                        • #13

                          19 hepatitis E cases reported in Otjozondjupa
                          News - National | 2019-08-14Page no: 1
                          by Okeri Ngutjinazo

                          THE Otjozondjupa region has reported 19 new hepatitis E virus cases, with nine cases from the Okahandja district, says the ministry of health.

                          These cases were reported from 22 until 28 July (week 30).

                          The health ministry's spokesperson Manga Libita yesterday said since the outbreak was declared in 2017 up to 4 August this year, 6 032 hepatitis E (HEV) cases have been reported...


                          • #14

                            Number of hepatitis E infections in Namibia nears 7,000
                            Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-07 22:44:58|Editor: Mu Xuequan

                            WINDHOEK, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Namibia recorded a 65 percent increase in new infections of Hepatitis E last year to reach almost 7,000 in total, the report issued Tuesday by Ministry of Health and Social Service on the deadly disease revealed.

                            New infections rose by 2,747 to 6,974 cases between January and December last year. The total number of people killed by the disease hit 59 since it first broke out more than two years ago.

                            The report warns that the primary obstacles hampering efforts to stop the outbreak included limited sanitation facilities and poor access to water...