Hepatitis E cases decline in Namibia

Hepatitis vaccination (W.H.O)

The number of reported Hepatitis E cases in Namibia are on the decrease, statistics released by the Ministry of Health on Saturday show.

A total of 74 Hepatitis E (HEV) cases were reported countrywide between February 24 and March 8, compared to 102 cases reported during the previous two weeks.

The ministry of health declared an outbreak of Hepatitis E on December 14, 2017 in the capital Windhoek. The outbreak then spread to other regions around April 2018, eventually involving a total of ten regions.

Cases have been reported mainly from informal settlements such as Havana and Goreangab in Windhoek, DRC in Swakopmund and similar settings in other regions where access to potable water, sanitation and hygiene is limited.

A cumulative 7,457 Hepatitis E cases have been reported since the outbreak began with 65 deaths reported nationally, representing a case fatality rate of 0.9 percent.

“There is a decrease in the number of HEV cases during the reporting period. (However) the outbreak continues to be protracted and cases are still being detected in areas where  water and toilet facilities are limited, particularly in Khomas and in Erongo regions,” a report from the health ministry said.