HARARE – Malaria continues to wreak havoc in Zimbabwe, with the Health ministry recording an increase in new cases of the deadly disease.
The country has continued to record an increase in Malaria cases, with over 89 000 infections and 151 deaths recorded in the first nine weeks of 2017, the ministry revealed.
This has seen the health authority partnering one of the country’s mobile telecoms operators in the country in a malaria awareness campaign to educate people on malaria-causing mosquitos’ breeding habits and safe practices to prevent it.
The increase has been attributed to the heavy rains that pounded the country last season, causing flooding in mostly the southern parts.
Malaria is a life-threatening blood disease caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito, which breeds in humid conditions.
Health ministry malaria programme manager, Joseph Mberikunashe, told the Daily News on Sunday that there is urgent need to educate people on malaria all year round.
“Information should be continuous; malaria is in this country throughout the year. This year we have seen an increase in malaria cases because of the rains we had.
“Malaria transmission depends on humidity and the rainfall we got meant there will be more breeding ground for malaria and many communities are now exposed to malaria including artisanal miners who sleep in the open and also the people who were moved from their sprayed homes because of flooding. And we also have people who are moving from Mozambique who are at risk,” Mberikunashe said in an earlier interview with the Daily News on Sunday.
“We sprayed the malaria-prone areas and also distributed 1, 8 million mosquito nets from August to September and we stocked adequate medicines.”
Mberikunashe said the situation was being worsened by accessibility issues also caused by the flooding which cut off road networks.
The most affected are the low-lying areas, including Beitbridge, Chiredzi, Chipinge, Mutare City, Mutasa, Goromonzi, Centenary, Uzumba, Maramba Pfungwe and Bindura.