At least 55 deaths and 123 969 cases of malaria have been recorded this year  countrywide, a 2-fold increase in prevalence of the disease compared to last year , says a government official.
"We have experienced a surge of both malaria incidents and deaths this year . In 2012, by week 9, we recorded 67 000 cases and 49 deaths, while this year over the same period, the figure is 123 696 and 55 deaths," said National Malaria Case Management Focal Person in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Staneford ashaire, in an exclusive interview.
In week 9, 124 000 cases of malaria and 4 deaths were recorded nationally, compared to 10 000 cases and 9 deaths last year . Mashaire attributed the outbreak to recent floods that hit many areas. "There is one confirmed outbreak in Mutasa, while Goromonzi and Chiredzi are not yet confirmed. We received a petition from Mashonaland East requesting inside door residual spraying, as cases of malaria were on the increase. We have since deployed reaction teams to assess the ground for further assessment in both areas," he said.
Mashaire added that out of the country's 63 health districts, spraying was done in 45 districts, but Goromonzi was not included. Mosquito net distribution is carried out in 30 districts prone to malaria. "Of the 30 districts, 23 have received their nets, including Mutasa, where we have just distributed 90 000 nets to 37 433 households. We also conducted public awareness programmes, recruited and trained 150 village health workers to offer rapid tests and treat patients in the community in order to curb the outbreak," said Mashaire.
In Matabeleland South, the department is doing a pre-elimination exercise, whereby if a person presents him/herself with malaria, the whole family or community is traced for treatment. "In other provinces, we are in control exercises, where we just treat an individual who is reportedly ill," he said.
Malaria is a disease caused by the plasmodium parasite, mainly acquired after a bite from an infected female anopheles mosquito. According to SADC health statistics,
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The report says that 100 percent of cases are treated with ACT (artemisinin combination therapy) and that RDT (rapid diagnostic testing) has replaced microscopy for diagnosis. 95 percent of the expenditures on malaria control comes from sources outside
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