Ministry Courts Private Sector in Malaria Fight

07 Apr 2010
Times of Zambia
The Government has challenged the private sector to partner with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to prevent and control the spread of malaria in the country.

MoH Permanent Secretary Velepi Mtonga said the ministry had made a decision to scale up the Indoor residual spraying intervention to 54 districts this year, hence the involvement of the private sector so that they could reach more districts.

Dr Mtonga said fighting malaria was good for business and investment and so the MoH through the national Malaria Control Centre had recognized outstanding members of the cooperate world in last two years running with the business leaders in the Fight Against Malaria Award.

"As a ministry, we have the responsibility of providing life-saving health care as close to the family as possible and to achieve this, everybody must play a role, including the private sector," she said.

She said with the ongoing sensitisation exercise of preventing malaria, the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets had increased significantly over the years in two of the most vulnerable populations, which are children under then age five and pregnant women.

Dr Mtonga commended MTN Zambia for joining the Roll Back Malaria campaign, adding that they would be distributing treated mosquito nets and supporting health workers in sensitising communities to prevent themselves against malaria.

MTN Zambia public relations and communications manager, Banji Lufungulo said the mobile phone company had come up with a range of initiatives to support the campaign that was harnessing the enthusiasm surrounding football and the 2010 World Cup to raise awareness on malaria treatment and prevention.

"MTN is delighted to be a key partner in the United Against Malaria campaign as we will support community health workers in the latest initiative to ensure the correct use of nets and advising them where they are not sure," Ms Mtonga said.

She said MTN was meaningful contribution to social development across Africa by addressing the plight of malaria as one of their FIFA 2010 legacy programmes.