Malaria cases in Zimbabwe reduced to meet Abuja target

08:48, September 10, 2010      

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Zimbabwe will make efforts to reduce malaria cases despite the country has already meet the Abuja target of 68 cases per 1,000 people by December 2010, a senior official said on Thursday.

Health and Child Welfare Deputy Minister Douglas Mombeshora was quoted by the state media New Ziana as saying that the ministry would further reduce malaria cases this year despite having surpassed the Abuja target.

"We have already surpassed the 2010 Abuja target to reduce malaria cases to 68 cases in every 1, 000 people to 59 cases per 1, 000 people. We are on track and geared to reduce more malaria cases this year," he said

African leaders from 44 malaria endemic countries met in Abuja, Nigeria in 2000 for an African summit to set targets aimed at mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

The leaders agreed that to achieve the Abuja targets, African governments should reduce cases of malaria by 50 percent of the morbidity and mortality rates by 2010.

Zimbabwe was tasked to reduce to at least 68 malaria cases in every 1, 000 people by 2010. The record in 2000 was 138 cases per 1,000 people. The country reduced malaria incidences from 93 to 59 cases in every 1,000 people in 2009.

Dr Mombeshora said the ministry intends to distribute mosquito nets that last for five years to the greater part of the country. He said last year distribution of nets moved from the previous target five year-olds and pregnant women to universal access.

The ministry also intends to distribute in rural areas microscopes and Diagnostic Test Tubes (RTTs) which give instant results of malaria to avoid misinterpreting cases, he said.

Mombeshora said early detection of malaria would prevent misuse of drugs as previously people were incorrectly diagnosed and given wrong treatment thereby prolonging their stay in hospital and straining the already burdened sector.

Low lying areas of Muzarabani, Kariba and Hwange are most prone to malaria outbreaks during the rainy season.

Mombeshora said his Ministry would also embark on indoor residual spraying in malaria endemic areas and closely monitor the use of nets as some have turned them into fishing nets.

Source: Xinhua


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