Health officials on high alert ahead of malaria season

Health officials across the country including in rural areas are on high alert ahead of the malaria season, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro, has said.

Malaria cases, according to the government statistics have however declined by 79 percent in the country since 2004 while deaths have also gone down by 42 percent since the launch of an intensive anti-malaria campaign between 2015 and 2019.

Mangwiro was responding to questions from legislators in the National Assembly last Wednesday on what the government was doing to protect citizens from the disease.

“Yes, we know that this disease is a concern in the rain season and now we are approaching the rain season,” Mangwiro told the lawmakers. 

“Firstly, the government does awareness programmes on how to prevent and control the spread of malaria.  We know mosquitoes breed in still water. We encourage people to fill unnecessary holes that collect water during the rainy season in the community or near their homes as this encourages the breeding of mosquitoes.”  

He said: “We have our health personnel that go to rural areas making awareness programmes about this disease.  We also visit provinces spraying chemicals that kill and prevent mosquitoes. As a Ministry, we are aware of the season that is ahead of us and preparations are underway to fight malaria.  We have also procured malaria drugs in our clinics and hospitals.”

He expressed concerns on people who move away from sprayed houses in search of livelihood, such as gold panners.

Mangwiro said such people should make use of mosquito nets and repellents adding they should also be on the lookout for stagnant water.

“We will try to implement that,” he said.

Weather experts have already predicted normal to above normal rains in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe included.

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