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UNFPA donates hygiene kits for women and girls impacted by Hepatitis E outbreak

WINDHOEK –  As part of ongoing efforts to eradicate an outbreak of Hepatitis E that began in December 2017, UNFPA handed over 1,600 hygiene kits to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).

More than 142,000 people have been affected by Hepatitis E in the current outbreak in Namibia to date. Of 4,432 reported cases, 40 people have died and of these, 17 (43 per cent of total deaths) were pregnant or post-partum women.

The outbreak is fuelled mainly by a lack of clean water, poor sanitation and poor personal hygiene.

The kits, which are for pregnant and lactating women, as well as for adolescent girls living in the outbreak hot spots – informal settlements of Windhoek – include 20 litre buckets with a lid and a tap, washing and bath soaps, underwear, sanitary napkins and baby items.

The aim is to promote sanitation and hygiene practices, for prevention of Hepatitis E, while maintaining and restoring the dignity of women and girls.

In 2018, UNFPA made a commitment to support the MoHSS in line with the national response to the outbreak. To date, UNFPA has provided technical and financial support worth N$726,000 to the ministry.

“Today’s event is testimony to UNFPA’s commitment. The support thus far has contributed to interventions on capacity development, coordination, community education and mobilization, as well as knowledge management,” said UNFPA Representative Dennia Gayle, on presenting the items.

By Emma Mbekele