Zimbabwe: Malaria-Prone Districts to Receive Mosquito Nets

27 Jun 2006
Herald (Harare)

Several malaria-prone areas throughout Zimbabwe will receive 100 000 mosquito nets from Population Services International (PSI) over the next six months.

PSI country director Mr Michael Chommie said Mt Darwin, Rushinga, Gokwe North, Gokwe South and Mudzi were some of the malaria-prone districts that would receive the nets.

He was speaking at a belated Africa Malaria Day commemoration at Dotito High School in Mt Darwin at the weekend.

"In the next six months we will distribute 15 200 nets to Mt Darwin, 8 800 to Rushinga, 14 800 to Gokwe North, 32 000 to Gokwe South, 3 700 to Mudzi and 9 000 to Mutoko," he said.

The nets would be distributed through antenatal clinics to pregnant women and children under five. Pregnant women and children under five are the worst vulnerable to malaria and if they succumb to it chances of fatalities are high.

Government has been, with the assistance of different partners, trying to ensure that every pregnant woman andevery child in a malaria-prone area has access to a mosquito net.

Besides in-door residual spraying -- which is the spraying of homes with DDT and ICON -- mosquito nets constitute the other component of efforts to cut down on malaria cases and deaths.

Mr Chommie said the nets were bought with funds from PSI headquarters and United Nations Children's Fund.

"Our model for Insecticide Treated Net (ITN) delivery is assisting the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to rapidly and cost-effectively achieve the Abuja targets of covering 60 percent of pregnant women and children under five with a net," he said.

To date PSI, which manages ITN projects in 24 countries in Africa, Asia and South America has distributed 64 200 nets to Gokwe North and South and 23 600 nets to Mudzi.

Malaria remains the second leading cause of death in Africa, after HIV and Aids.