Although in June 2010 there was no evidence of serious malnutrition around Namacunde, the average diet is poor, in part due to a lack of agricultural produce. Many people suffer from AIDS, officially 9% of the population in this area, but malaria remains the principal killer disease in this region. In addition, cholera and TB are present.

This is an edited version of what the World Health Organisation had to say in 2009 about Cunene province:

Comprehensive data on the cholera epidemic that has been rife since 2006 shows that cholera cases have increased by 50%, peaking during the rainy season. Furthermore, deaths of children under five, mainly from the burden of diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory diseases, and malnutrition tend to worsen significantly during the rainy period.

60% of Angola’s health facilities were destroyed during the 1975-2002 war, there is a defective health information system and only 30%-40% of the population receive health coverage.

In Cunene province 26,915 people were displaced and 5383 houses were destroyed in the 2009 floods. In this province, lack of health facilities and staff qualified to provide care for the populations in the border areas is such that the inhabitants usually leave for the neighbouring country in search of better health services. This situation is worsened by poor sanitation, shortage of drinking water and lack of insecticide-treated nets, resulting in an increase in the prevalence of cholera, acute respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases and malaria.

Bednets are being distributed to the population and door-to-door interpersonal communication campaigns for treatment of drinking water are being conducted in order to prevent diarrhoeal diseases. The fielding of mobile teams and the provision of community information and mobilization campaigns have helped to reduce drastically the prevalence of diseases among the disaster victims. Churches have helped to sensitize the disaster victims to the increase in cases of malaria and diarrhoeal diseases during the floods.

St Simon and St Jude