The government has urged citizens to brace for another outbreak of malaria following a surge of cases last season.
Responding a question in the National Assembly recently, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said the government was doing 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. 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,” said Dr Mangwiro.
He assured the nation that the government was ready to fight malaria this season.
“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,”
Mangwiro also urged gold panners to make use of mosquito nets and repellents as well as being on the lookout for stagnant water.
Zimbabwe recently recorded a surge in malaria cases and deaths at a time when the country’s health delivery system is battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to statistics from the Health and Child Care ministry’s malaria control programme, there were 393 malaria deaths in November 2020, up from 257 the previous year and 183 in 2018.
That malaria deaths at one time surpassed the number of people who succumbed to COVID-19, which stood at 281 deaths as of December 5 2020, highlighting the devastating impact of a shift of focus from malaria to COVID-19.
Malaria cases increased by 58% from 242 951 cases in 2019 to 384 956 in 2020, according to the ministry.
These statistics are chilling considering that in April this year, the disease claimed 18 lives inside one week across the most prone provinces of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West.