Handwashing Vital to End Hepatitis E Outbreak

The Hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia is ongoing, and the weekly situation reports indicate that the Hepatitis E virus is still infecting new people weekly. Handwashing is an important and low-cost intervention that will help to end the Hepatitis E outbreak. While the provision of piped water and sanitation facilities are needed, simple interventions such as building and using a Tippy Tap provide an immediate and low cost solution in areas where access to water is limited. More information about how to build a Tippy Tap can be found in the attached document.

The U.S. Embassy Namibia joined the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) in increasing awareness for Global Handwashing Day during a recent visit to the Oshana and Omusati Region where ten communitybased anti-retroviral (ART) sites were opened on October 17. During the visit, U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Bernard Haufiku, and Ministry of Health and Social Services Permanent Secretary, Ben Nangombe each took a moment to wash their hands using a Tippy Tap.

“The U.S. Embassy in Namibia, through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Namibia office, is committed to continuing its support of the Ministry of Health and Social Services and its partners in addressing the current Hepatitis E outbreak. We encourage the ongoing efforts to decrease the spread of the virus. One immediate and practical response that we hope everyone can work towards in their daily life is good handwashing practices,” said Ambassador Lisa Johnson.

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated annually on October 15. It is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design,