Malaria still a menace in Manicaland

Despite efforts by donor agencies to combat malaria, Manicaland province remains burdened by this killer disease, recording the highest cases of prevalence, transmission and mortality.

According to statistics released by the ministry of health and childcare, of the 377,892 cases of malaria, 85 per cent were from Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central. Of the three provinces, Manicaland recorded half the number (51 per cent) or 192,730 cases.

The province took a lead in the national mortality statistics too. A third of the deaths occurred here, said the deputy minister of health and childcare, Paul Chimedza.

“As far as mortality is concerned, a total of 351 deaths have been recorded nationally, with 60 per cent (210) deaths in Manicaland province,” he said.

Chimedza said while malaria was rapidly decreasing in the central parts of the country, border districts of Nyanga, Mutasa, Chimanimani and Chipinge remained badly affected.

He said the government faced a mammoth task to meet millennium development goals regarding its health delivery system.

Joseph Mberikunashe, the national malaria control programmes manager, said Zimbabwe was working with its neighbours to combat the scourge.

“Malaria has no borders and therefore treating or curbing it on one side of the border is not strategic,” he said. “Therefore, there is need for collaboration between countries to deal with the problem,” he said.

As a result, Zimbabwe was part of a three nation collaborative effort involving the Zimbabwe-Zambia cross border malaria initiative, the Trans-Zambezi project for Angola, Botswana and Namibia, and the Trans-Limpopo or Mozisa for Mozambique and South Africa.

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