The Story of Cholera is being called on to help “nip in the bud” a new cholera outbreak in Namibia. The outbreak has prompted officials from UNICEF and the Ministry of Health to move quickly to educate people in the region. These officials recognize that showing The Story of Cholera via mass media is an effective way to convey critical messages about the disease that people need to know. According to Dr. Myo-Zin Nyunt (Chief, Maternal, Child Survival and Development for UNICEF NAMIBIA), “Most senior officials in the Ministry of Health really like this video and they are wanting to broadcast it through national TV” so they can help prevent the cholera outbreak from spiraling out of control.
The New Era newspaper in Namibia (January 14, 2014) reported the following:
The drought contributed greatly to the cholera outbreak in the Kunene Region. This is according to the Chief for Maternal, Child Survival and Development of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Dr Myo Zin Nyunt.
Nyunt says Unicef has been anticipating cholera in the Kunene Region before the outbreak, because people in that region have been drinking unclean water due to the drought and based on the agency’s experience a cholera outbreak in that region was highly likely. Apart from the fact that there appears to be a dormant cholera virus in that region, other challenges that make the Kunene Region more prone to cholera, include the lack of sanitation; the drying up of wells and boreholes and the general lack of hygiene. Some of the areas where people live in the region are also not accessible by road.
Nyunt explained that most people in that region still use the bush to relieve themselves and this contributes immensely to poor hygiene. The fact that the region has not received rain in a while and that boreholes and wells have dried up has forced many people in the region to consume unclean water. … The majority of the people in that area are from the Ovahimba tribe … According to Nyunt there is a need to educate communities such as the Ovahimba about the dangers that go with poor hygiene, and there is a need to rehabilitate water infrastructure in the region. In the meantime through the Project Corporation Agreement with Unicef, volunteers from the Red Cross Society of Namibia have joined forces to educate communities in that region.