National spraying programme to fight malaria starts

National spraying programme to fight malaria starts

National spraying programme to fight malaria starts

THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has embarked on a national spraying programme to prevent new malaria cases as the country heads towards the rainy season. 

Malaria deaths have gone down by 38 percent while confirmed cases have decreased by 57 percent due to increased access to health facilities in areas prone to malaria outbreaks this year. 

In an interview in Bulawayo yesterday, National Malaria Programmes officer Dr Joseph Mberi said the spraying programme started last week. 

“We have sent our spraying teams to districts and we hope that they will manage to cover all areas within a short space of time. We have also started distributing mosquito nets for members of the public in high risk areas to use so that we continue to reduce new cases and malaria deaths in Zimbabwe,” said Dr Mberi. 

He urged members of the public to allow teams to spray around their homes to avoid contracting the disease. 

“We are calling on members of the public to co-operate with the teams as they will be offering a free service at no cost. They should also put the mosquito nets to good use and ensure they are used daily even when they do not see the mosquitoes physically,” added Dr Mberi. 

He said the mosquito nets are not to be used for any other activity like fishing as they are meant to reduce the risk of contracting malaria. 

The Ministry recently announced that Zimbabwe is on course to introduce an additional vaccine for malaria on the killer disease list of vaccines for under-fives as the World Health Organisation has launched the vaccine in three pilot African countries. 

Malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, claiming the life of one child every two minutes. Most of these deaths are in Africa, where more than 250 000 children die from the disease every year.

If the vaccine against malaria which will be administered to children aged from five months to two years succeeds, it will be rolled out to heavily burdened countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, the DRC, Nigeria and Mozambique.—@thamamoe 

Read more: Chronicle