Malaria campaign impressive: NIHR

Zimbabwe’s malaria campaign is now so sophisticated that it has reached pre-elimination stage, especially in the Matabeleland region, a senior National Institute of Health Research official, has said.

A nurse gives a vaccination against malaria.
A nurse gives a vaccination against malaria.

"Zimbabwe is doing very well as far as malaria control is concerned," she said in Harare. "In fact, in some areas of Matabeleland we have reached the pre-elimination stage which means our system is very advanced and meets WHO standards.”

However, when asked why the same World Health Organisation, which has developed a new drug to combat malaria, had side-lined Zimbabwe from receiving the drug, the official said: "I am not aware of this information."

The WHO said Zimbabwe was very disappointing because its malaria cases were increasing instead of decreasing, therefore it would not test its new vaccine until the disease was "fully" controlled.

At a closed workshop, a WHO spokesperson said: "The WHO has indeed developed a new drug to combat malaria. Unfortunately Zimbabwe will not benefit from this drug just yet because its cases have not been consistent with WHO standards. While we are happy about the progress made by Zimbabwe, its cases go up and down, and we want them to remain down."

She said other African countries, mainly in the West, were already benefitting from the new drug.

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