Spraying Teams Deployed

18 Oct 2010
Herald (Harare)
The Health and Child Welfare Ministry has intensified its anti-malaria campaign ahead of the rainy season and has deployed spraying teams to all districts.

In an interview last week, National Malaria Control Programme manager Dr Joseph Mberikunashe said the ministry had all the necessary human and material resources. "We have procured enough equipment and chemicals and have a complete staff complement for our spraying teams in all parts of the country," he said.

Dr Mberikunashe said the programme would run for three months. "We want to complete this exercise by the end of December and our primary targets are low-lying areas which should be completed before the rainy season.

"If all things go well the programme has to be completed by 31 December," he said. Last month, the Health Ministry conducted training workshops to raise awareness about malaria.

The spraying is an annual national exercise. Dr Mberikunashe said they were using DDT in areas where there is no commercial farming and pyrethroids elsewhere.

He allayed public fears concerning DDT saying the chemical was not harmful if administered correctly.

He said DDT was used for internal spraying only and would not affect the environment. Chiredzi, Gokwe, Binga and Kariba among others are prone to malaria.

Government has committed itself to the 2010 Abuja target of reducing malaria cases by half. In 2000, malaria cases in Zimbabwe stood at 138 per 1 000 people and by December last year the figure was down to 59 per 1 000. An estimated 20 million malaria episodes and between 300 000 and 400 000 deaths are recorded each year in southern Africa.

Malaria is the fifth biggest cause of death among pregnant women and accounts for 30 percent of outpatients in the clinics countrywide.