Bells ring over possible malaria outbreak

Source: Bells ring over possible malaria outbreak – NewsDay Zimbabwe


THE Meteorological Service Department (MSD) has warned of an increase in malaria cases and a possible outbreak in the country due to the high temperatures and lots of rains.

MSD climate change management director Washington Zhakata told NewsDay that mosquitoes breed well in high temperatures.

He said malaria patterns in the country show that it normally affects the Lowveld areas, and can also affect cities, especially those areas where there are continuous sewer bursts.

“Temperatures are becoming higher and higher, which means malaria is spreading fast. With flooding, and burst sewers due to our poor sewer systems in urban areas which are archaic, you will notice that the prevalence of malaria and other diseases like cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea may also be on the increase,” Zhakata said.

He said communities that were prone to the outbreak were those that have not experienced malaria infections before.

“Communities that are prone to the impact are those that are currently not living in malaria prone areas. They may be impacted without their knowledge and before they react and act, they can lose a few lives before they realise that climate-related diseases have creeped into their society,” the MSD official said.

“Already, the temperatures have been quite high, and the changes in the seasonal weather patterns are not what we had before.”

Zimbabwe has seen a surge of malaria cases and deaths from January 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe although there have been no studies to link the two diseases.