By: Pricilla Mukokobi
About 10 201 malaria cases and four deaths have been recorded in the Zambezi region since last year.
Zambezi region is reported to be the region with the highest malaria cases.
According to Stark Katokele, heading of malaria at the ministry of health and social services, malaria deaths had been attributed to patients who come very late for treatment at public and private health facilities and comorbidities.
“As a ministry, we have national policies and strategic innervations to deal with malaria prevention and control. These include case management with effective anti-malarial medicines, vector control through Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS); targeted distribution of mosquito nets and larviciding,” he said.
He also stated that malaria control interactions were disrupted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely crippled the global supply chain, causing delayed delivery of essential commodities such as insecticides used for IRS and anti-malaria medicines.
Katokele further called on community members to support the ministry by allowing health officials and spray operators to enter their homes for insecticide spraying, particularly during this rainy season which is considered malaria peak season.
“Malaria cases are on the increase already, and it will worsen when floodwater subsides and creates perfect breeding sites for mosquitoes,” he said.
Former health minister and Malaria Elimination 8 ambassador Richard Kamwi warned that the situation would worsen as the rains persist.
He cautioned people in the Zambezi region that “prevention is better than cure” that many cases have been reported in the Zambezi, and people should be alert.
Kamwi, who hails in the Zambezi region, urged people to take care of them and they should stop roaming around.
“Rain has started, so malaria cases are increasing already, and it gets worse when floodwater subsides and creates perfect breeding sites for mosquitos,” he said.
He added that they launched the “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” campaign in December, which is intended to raise awareness at the political level and encourage a multi-sectoral approach addressing public key health issues.
A community member who preferred to remain anonymous stated that it’s evident for malaria cases to rise becauseKatimaMulilo town is very dirty and the streets are full of water.
“I’m not happy with the situation and the number of cases in our region. The fact that our town is not clear we are all not going to survive malaria will kill us,” she said.
She further said they are not getting attention from the ministry, and mosquito nets are not distributed like before.
She added that government should come through for everyone.
Photo resident, Nyambe Fordson, said his very aware of the situation, but the government should do something.
“This rain has made the situation worse, and it’s not a good sign,” he said.
He added that the health and social services ministry is about time they spray their homes and give mosquito nets.