BY SILAS NKALA
MATABELELAND South province has recorded 800 malaria cases and four deaths since January this year down from 2 823 registered cases and 11 fatalities during the same period last year.
Matabeleland South provincial epidemiology and disease control officer Andrew Muza said there has been a general decrease in malaria cases compared to 2020.
As of May 2020, statistics show that Matabeleland South recorded 2 823 cases of malaria and 11 deaths with Beitbridge accounting for 89% of the cases.
In 2019, the province accounted for 583 cases and nine deaths down from 1 966 cases and 10 deaths in 2018 during the same period.
“As a province we have reported about 800 malaria cases in 2021 and four deaths.
“Our incidence is generally low at 1/1000 population/year.
“Beitbridge and Gwanda have relatively higher incidences within the province,” Muza said in an emailed response to questions.
“Our province is in malaria elimination and our districts record 10 to 20 cases of malaria in one year except Beitbridge and Gwanda.
“Beitbridge East, which borders Chiredzi district in Masvingo province is a high malaria burden area that can have as much as 700 to a 1000 cases in a year.”
Muza said the epidemiology department is implementing elimination activities including malaria diagnosis and treatment to affected patients.
“Other activities include biolarviciding, indoor residual spraying to outbreak areas per rising need,” he said.
“We have strengthened surveillance systems as a response pillar to malaria elimination as well.
“As we are getting into the malaria season, which usually begins after the rains, we urge members of the public to cooperate with health officials by participating in malaria community vector control activities.
“Those that have been given nets need to use them for their intended purposes and use them correctly as taught.
“If anyone has symptoms suggestive of malaria like fever and chills, generalised body weakness, vomiting and headaches they need to visit their nearest health facility early for prompt diagnosis and treatment.”
Malaria remains a public health problem in Zimbabwe.
Between 2011 and 2015, the malaria incidence was less than one case per 1000 population at risk in all districts save for Beitbridge and Gwanda.