Some parts of Lupane District in Emzola and Jotsholo in Matabeleland North, have been hit by a malaria outbreak, a development which has been confirmed by the provincial epidemiological disease control office.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease caused by a plasmodium parasite, transmitted by the bites of infected mosquitoes but according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa continues to be the hardest hit by the deadly disease partly because many people do not have access to preventive and curative interventions.
In an interview with CITE, Matabeleland North Provincial Epidemiological Disease Control Officer, Dr Thabani Moyo, said the department was actively undertaking surveillance in the district.
He, however, could not avail the statistics of the affected people.
Dr Moyo stated that the Epidemiological Disease Control department was forced to execute Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) as a responsive intervention in Lupane, yet the district is in the malaria elimination stage, which requires largely surveillance.
“We are not supposed to be doing IRS in Lupane but due to the outbreak we did the response as we were now responding to that malaria outbreak. So we conducted spraying on top of other interventions that were there,” said the epidemiological disease control officer.
According to Dr Moyo, the Ministry of Health and Child Care also adopted the bio-life cycle strategy and sprayed in areas that had water.
“There are other interventions such as bio life cycle where we will be looking at places with water and we check if the water does not have mosquito larvae. If there are larvae we do a bio life cycle, use chemicals in those places to kill that larvae,” he said, noting that since this action, malaria cases were reducing.
“So the interventions that we did are working.”
In 2021, the WHO African Region, reported an estimated 234 million cases and 593 000 deaths while in terms of reduction in malaria incidence, Zimbabwe is one of the eight countries, said to be on track to meet the 2025 Global Technical Strategy target.
However, reliable sources in the affected areas claimed there was no medication for those admitted at health institutions following the outbreak.