Elimination Target Year
At a Glance
- Namibia achieved a 97% decline in malaria cases between 2001 and 2011, and is aiming to eliminate malaria by 2020
- 72% of the total population are living in areas of active transmission (Total population: 2.46 million).
Namibia experienced a 98 percent decrease in reported malaria cases between 2001 and 2011 from 735,510 to 14,409. During the same period, malaria deaths decreased by 98 percent from 1,747 to 36 – far surpassing the country’s national targets. Most of Namibia’s malaria cases occur during the rainy season between January and April, and are concentrated in the northern region of the country. Although Namibia has made significant progress over the last decade, the ongoing threat of malaria importation from across the country’s borders is a key barrier to achieving elimination.
Focus on the End Game
Since 2006, Namibia has made significant improvements in improving coverage of malaria interventions among most at risk populations, including pregnant women, children under five, people living with HIV, and those living in hard to reach areas. Intervention efforts include vector control through indoor residual spraying (IRS), promotion of insecticide treated nets, diagnosis and treatment, surveillance and epidemic preparedness, detection and response. Namibia has seen increases in malaria cases since 2014, mainly affecting regions to the north east of the country, and Ohangwena region along the border with Angola. The national malaria control programme is leading an effort to identify and prioritize the most affected areas in the malaria endemic regions and to prevent potential outbreaks through case-based surveillance and active screening to find hotspots of transmission, and community mobilization in support of prevention methods.
- Cross-Border Control: Elimination efforts are challenged by cross-border transmission from Angola. However, Namibia is engaging in bilateral dialogue with Angola to synchronize malaria interventions on both sides of the border and mobilizing resources for expansion of vector control activities in Angola’s southern provinces.
- Indoor Residual Spraying: IRS has been a widely used program intervention that has driven much of Namibia’s gains in malaria control. Efforts to address recent weaknesses in training and monitoring of spray teams coverage and quality are being rolled out, which are expected to improve the effective prevention coverage in the upcoming malaria IRS campaign.
- Surveillance: Namibia is strengthening its electronic surveillance system towards real-time, case-based reporting to improve the resolution of reporting. With enhanced surveillance, the country will be able to better monitor and respond to rises in transmission.
- Overburdened Health System: The National Malaria Control Programme in Namibia faces shortages both in human and financial resources.