U.S. hails decline in malaria deaths in Zimbabwe

HARARE-- The United States on Wednesday hailed the continued decline in malaria cases in Zimbabwe and pledged to continue providing support to eliminate the disease in the country.

In a statement ahead of World Malaria Day on April 25 , the U.S. government said it stands with the people of Zimbabwe in commemorating the day and celebrates the considerable decline in malaria cases and deaths.

According to data from the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care, there were 264,278 malaria cases and 192 deaths from malaria in 2018.

This represents a substantial decline from the previous year, with a 44 percent reduction in cases and a 63 percent reduction in deaths.

“The United States is proud to collaborate with the National Malaria Control Program to contribute to this exciting success,” the U.S. embassy said.

It said through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has contributed long-term substantial investments to end malaria in Zimbabwe.

USAID has provided some 105 million dollars since 2008 to prevent and treat malaria, reaching almost a million Zimbabweans with lifesaving health services.

In its moves, USAID sprayed the houses of more than 350,000 Zimbabweans with insecticides to kill mosquitoes and protect families from malaria each year. This reduces infections, illness, and deaths due to malaria, added the statement.

USAID Mission Director Stephanie Funk said malaria has long threatened the people of Zimbabwe, but the data show a notable decline in malaria cases and deaths.

“USAID is proud to be a partner in such impressive progress,” he said.

Malaria is among the top causes of illness and deaths in Zimbabwe, with over half of the population living in high-risk areas.

In just 10 years, the coordinated efforts of USAID, the Global Fund, and the NMCP have contributed to a substantial drop in malaria cases in Zimbabwe from 1.2 million in 2008 to 264,278 in 2018.

“On World Malaria Day, USAID reaffirms its commitment to decreasing malaria cases and deaths and moving Zimbabwe toward malaria elimination,” the embassy said.

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