Namibia to conduct community-wide screening in TB-prone region

Namibia’s Health Ministry intends to conduct a community-wide screening for tuberculosis (TB) in the country’s Otjozondjupa region, which accounts for the highest TB cases nationally, an official said Tuesday.

The exercise is expected to cover the whole of Tsumkwe constituency, an area which is heavily inhabited by the indigenous San/Bushman tribe, Health Ministry executive director Ben Nangombe said in a statement on the national TB response, care and treatment services in Namibia.

“The Health Ministry continues to work in order to reach its strategic goals. The challenges of language barriers are known and acknowledged. Not many trained health workers can speak San dialects,” he said, adding that the ministry has made a concerted effort to enroll San-speaking Namibians as health-care workers, including for nursing and other community workers.

According to Nangombe, further community-wide screening campaigns are expected to take place in similar communities in 2022.

“In these campaigns, all the community members are assessed to ensure all those with the disease are put on treatment to curb the spread of the disease,” he added.

The World Health Organization ranked Namibia among the top 30 countries globally with the highest estimated TB incidence rate and highest TB incidence among people living with HIV.

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