Namibia has made significant gains in the fight against malaria, with a target of elimination by 2023. We examined the genotype and allele frequencies of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency to inform decisions on primaquine use, as we recently detected clusters of Plasmodium ovale curtisi in Kavango.
A multistaged cross-sectional sampling method was used to enrol 212 children 2–9 y of age from schools and clinics in the Okavango and Zambezi regions of northern Namibia. Genotypes for the 202 G→A and 376 A→G mutations were assigned by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism.
Of the 212 subjects enrolled, genotypes were available for 210, made up of 61 males and 149 females. G6PD-deficient males (hemizygotes) and females (homozygotes) constituted 3.27% (2/61) and 0.0% (0/149), respectively. Female heterozygotes (AA− and BA−) constituted 10.07% (15/149), while G6PD wild-type males (with A or B haplotype) and females (with AA, BB or AB haplotypes) consisted of 96.72% (59/61) and 89.93% (134/149), respectively. The A−, A and B allele frequencies were 0.0474, 0.3036 and 0.6490, respectively. Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium tests for female genotype frequencies did not show deviation (p=0.29).
The frequency of G6PD deficiency alleles in males in the Kavango and Zambezi regions of northern Namibia constitute 3.27%, a first report to inform policy on primaquine role out.