Malaria Weekly Diseases Surveillance report

Phillipa Jaja

The Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has released the Weekly Diseases Surveillance report for malaria cases and deaths respectively for the period October 17-23 with the 2022 cumulative cases for Malaria standing at 92 310 and 151 deaths.

Of the reported cases, 210 (12.7 %) were from the under 5 year-olds category.

Zimbabwe recorded 1 650 malaria cases and 4 malaria deaths during the same week.

Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central Provinces recorded the highest number of cases of 658 and 457, respectively, while the deaths were from Murewa District, Guruve District and Harare which recorded 2, 1 and 1 death, respectively.

Malaria remains a public health threat in Zimbabwe, with more than half the population at risk of contracting malaria annually. Despite the progress made, malaria still accounts for about 40% of outpatient attendances in the moderate to high transmission districts, especially during the peak transmission period.

Zimbabwe has adopted several chemical-based vector control measures to reduce malaria. However, there has been growing evidence of resistance to chemical-based malaria vector interventions. This has necessitated the call for alternative non-chemical-based innovations for vector control such as house screening.

Covering doors, windows, and any other openings with screens and closing off any remaining gaps with mortar is simple and effective.

Keeping mosquitoes out of homes not only prevents the transmission of malaria, but also several other tropical diseases like dengue, filariasis, or Rift Valley Fever.

Apart from protecting all members of the household while indoors, screening is also an environmentally friendly intervention as well as a lasting and more cost-effective option compared with use of bed nets alone.

“House screening was successfully tried in the Gambia and Tanzania and found to significantly reduce malaria transmission. It is also beneficial in that it is environmentally friendly and not prone to development of mosquito resistance.

Again, it fosters community participation and ownership,” says Casper Tarumbwa, WHO Zimbabwe AFRO II Project Coordinator.

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