Harare(New Ziana)-Zimbabwe has made notable progress towards becoming a malaria free country as both cases and mortality rate have declined significantly, Health and Child Care Minister Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has said.
In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy Dr John Mangwiro at the SADC Malaria day commemorations, VP Chiwenga said malaria incidences declined by 83.8 percent.
“Zimbabwe has made great strides towards realizing its vision of “A Malaria free Zimbabwe. Malaria incidence declined by 83.8 percent from 136 per 1000 in 2000 to 22 per 1 000 population in 2019.
“Mortality declined by 75 percent from 1 069 deaths in 2003 to 266 deaths in 2019,” he said.
He said the decline in malaria burden was significant in the central and south –western parts of the country.
The malaria burden is now concentrated in the eastern and northern parts of the country where Zimbabwe shares borders with Mozambique and Zambia.
“This decline in malaria burden has seen the country implement pre-elimination activities in seven districts in 2012, and the district have since increased to 28,” he said.
VP Chiwenga however said the Cyclone Idai of 2019 and Covid-19 pandemic have threatened to reverse the gains achieved in eradicating malaria over the years.
“Cyclone Idai in 2019 destroyed previously sprayed homes and it created conditions conducive to mosquito breeding thereby increasing the risk of malaria in affected communities.
“The unavailability of adequate appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing for Covid- 19, for the front line Health Workers including Community Based Health Workers, resulted in them finding it difficult to comprehensively attend to patients.”
“This created major disruptions in the implementation of malaria outbreaks in 2020,” he said.
The most affected provinces were Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Masvingo.