Hwange gets 85 000 nets

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THE malaria-prone Hwange district in Matabeleland North province has received about 85 000 mosquito nets from the government as it goes into overdrive to combat the disease with assistance from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Hwange has the second highest malaria outbreak in the province after Binga and 84 166 nets were distributed to villagers.

Speaking at a belated World Malaria Day commemoration at the Victoria Falls Stadium on Friday, the resort town’s mayor Sifiso Mpofu said the nets were part of a concerted effort to reduce infections in communities.

“Hwange being the district with the second highest burden of malaria in the province benefited from a massive long lasting insecticidal nets distribution exercise which saw about 84 166 nets being given to community members.

“It is believed that these nets will go a long way in reducing the burden of malaria in the district,” Mpofu said.

“The province has launched a programme on community management of malaria in Hwange which has seen 90 village health workers being trained and equipped. This seeks to improve early treatment of malaria at community level since most of the health facilities are very far from where community members live.”

He said the government was working together with NGOs to seriously reduce malaria deaths.

“The efforts have led to the reduction of malaria incidents from 145 per 1 000 people in 2011 to 21 per 1 000 in 2013 and the reduction in malaria deaths.

“Such good work needs to be sustained and expanded through a combination of increased political will, investment on the ground and support for ongoing efforts aimed at combating malaria,” Mpofu said.

Malaria is the third cause of illness and mortality after HIV and Aids, and tuberculosis across all age groups.

The government takes the problem of malaria seriously and has a functional national programme of malaria prevention and control whose goal is to prevent illness and deaths and to minimise social and economic losses due to malaria.