Zimbabwe Records Decline In Malaria Cases
Christina De Klerk
Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) reports that the country is experiencing a decline in Malaria cases and deaths owing to government response activities implemented such as active testing and treatment of cases by village health workers as well as mass net distribution in the outbreak in affected areas.
Data compiled between 1 January and 3 May 2020, show 262,968 cases and 246 deaths were reported. According to the ministry’s weekly disease surveillance report (Week number 24 of 2020), 5339 malaria cases and seven deaths were reported in the last week of June, 757 of which were from children under five years of age. Provinces that reported the highest number of cases were Manicaland with 2284 cases and Mashonaland East province with 1425 cases.
Speaking to Community Radio Harare Dr Norman Matara of Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) confirmed that malaria cases have been declining in the country.
“Yes, indeed malaria cases have been declining in recent weeks. This is expected as malaria cases peaks between October and May, and cases gradually fall after the rainy cases. We think the government with support from programs like the USAID sponsored President Malaria Initiative and other development partners have done great work in terms of malaria prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment. We however feel that more information and education on malaria prevention and seeking treatment early should be intensified especially in malaria red zones. In this COVID-19 era we need to quickly make the correct diagnoses and start the correct treatment early, as the two diseases can present with similar symptoms. Our organisation has not directly dealt with malaria cases. However, we continue to monitor the malaria trends and response across the country and report accordingly”