Helen Kadirire 5 April 2017
HARARE – The Health ministry has detected insecticide-resistant mosquitoes
in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East, raising concern that malaria could become
difficult to control.
This comes as government recently issued a malaria alert after a total of
154 malaria cases were reported throughout the country as of March 26,
Giving oral evidence to Parliament’s Health portfolio committee, Health
ministry secretary Gerald Gwinji said they were moving to identify other
areas with resistant mosquitoes. “There are also areas where we have
detected resistance by the mosquitoes to certain insecticides we spray,”
“Our specialists have gone into Goromonzi to try and identify the type of
mosquitoes that are there and what they are responding to.”
Gwinji said areas reported to have outbreaks were former commercial farms
and were deemed as private property.
“The ministry would not necessarily move in unless allowed. In the past
two years, we have increased the areas that are sprayed in Goromonzi,” he
said, adding that “areas sprayed are households that are amenable to
“There are certain structures which only have poles and a roof and those
cannot be sprayed and people are only given bed nets. There is no surface
for the chemical to hold,” Gwinji said.
The permanent secretary said former pigsties which cannot be sprayed are
also part of the cause of the malaria outbreak in Goromonzi.
He said the movement of workers poses a challenge because they move with
their nets, leaving the new workers with nothing.
Gwinji, however, emphasised that the structures that temporary workers
live in are difficult to contain the spread of malaria.
“The farm structures are a challenge because in the farms that we visited,
they are converting pigsties into dormitories for these temporary workers.
We cannot spray that because it is open and what we have recommended to
the province is to move around, look at those structures and recommend to
farmers to put up mosquito mesh to at least keep the mosquitoes out, while
allowing for it to be sprayed,” he said.
MDC Matabeleland legislator and Health committee chairperson Ruth Labode
said the ministry should not allow new farmers to let people live in
“We cannot allow new farmers to abuse people like that. We cannot say that
now the farm is owned by a black person, you can live like this. If you do
not have the pigs, then you cannot put human beings in there. It is very
disappointing,” she said, adding that such structures should be