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6 malaria deaths recorded in 2023

25 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
6 malaria deaths recorded in 2023 Dr Maphios Siamuchembu

The Chronicle

Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu , Senior Health Reporter

SIX people died of malaria in Zimbabwe since the beginning of the year with the country recording a total of 1 960 cases in a space of one week.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care disease surveillance report shows that three deaths were reported at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, two at Mutare District Hospital, and one at Makonde District Hospital.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease caused by a plasmodium parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

The ministry has been distributing treated mosquito nets in areas of low transmission as well as high transmission areas to avert outbreaks in the past years.

Between 2010 and 2021 more than seven million nets were distributed across the country.
The country has also used indoor residual spraying (IRS) as the major malaria control strategy to prevent malaria which helps to protect an average of 3,3 million people from malaria each year.

“The weekly disease surveillance report for the week ending January 8, 2023, shows that a total of 1 950 malaria cases and six deaths have been reported since the beginning of the year. The deaths reported were from Sally Mugabe Central Hospital (three), Mutare District (two) and Makonde District (one),” read the report.

“Of the reported cases 212 were from children aged under five. The provinces that recorded the highest number of cases are Mashonaland Central Province with 587 cases and Manicaland Province (429).”

Dr Maphios Siamuchembu

Bulawayo’s provincial medical director Dr Maphios Siamuchembu said although the province was malaria-free, members of the public should take precautionary measures and use mosquito repellents.

Unlike other parts of the country where malaria is endemic, mosquitoes in Bulawayo are only a nuisance rather than a serious threat.

“As far as the Ministry of Health and Child Care is concerned, Bulawayo Metropolitan Province is not a malaria-prone province. To control mosquitoes, which are a nuisance insect, you can use simple household insecticide sprays or mosquito repellents such as mosquito coils or repellent lotions,” said Dr Siamuchembu.

Mosquito breeding reaches a peak during the hot, wet months, mainly from September to March. The Ministry of Health and Child Care supports the city with drugs and equipment for malaria treatment.

Mosquitoes breed in shallow and stagnant water, empty containers such as tins, drums, plastics and tyres, roof gutters, disused swimming pools and fish ponds, pits, reservoirs and tanks, including septic tanks.

The recent council minutes show that the local authority has already sprayed several streams where light to heavy breeding was spotted.

“In the second half of December, the department of health sprayed several streams including the ones at the Bulawayo Spruit, Matsheumhlope, Tshabalala Canal, All Metal Founders, Ingwebu, Mpopoma Park, Matshobana, Davies Granite, Nguboyenja, Nketa 7, Nketa 9 and Emganwini Island. Other areas included Tshabalala Extension, United Refineries, Pazwa, Tshabalala Police, Queen Elizabeth, Phekiwe, Pumula South, Pumula North, and Magwegwe Marisha,” read council minutes.


“Light to heavy breeding was encountered and treated. Spotters investigated the following streams, Ingwebu, All Metal Founders and Nguboyenja, Renkini Canal, Hillside Police, Bulawayo Spruit, Matsheumhlope, Parklands, Phillips drive and Home of Peace and all issues were attended to.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria deaths have sharply declined in Zimbabwe with the country achieving a 79 percent reduction in cases between 2004 and 2020.

In Zimbabwe, statistics continuously show that the disease remains a major challenge in certain districts, particularly in seven of the country’s 10 provinces.

WHO recommends protection for all people at risk of malaria with effective malaria vector control. Two forms of vector control — insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying — are effective in a wide range of circumstances.

British doctor Ronald Ross, who was the first person to discover the malarial parasite living in the gastrointestinal tract of the anopheles mosquito in the 19th Century, recruited teams to eliminate the larvae from stagnant pools and marshes. [email protected]

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