22 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Malaria Kills Nine More People

Nine more people have died of malaria throughout the country, bringing the death toll to 41, with the majority of cases being in Manicaland where an outbreak was recorded in January. A total of 20 173 cases were recorded during the same week, bringing the total number of cases treated so far to 82 760. Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare show that Mashonaland Central has also recorded a significant high number of people falling ill due to malaria.

Districts which are mostly affected are Chikomba, Mutoko, Mutasa and Mutare.

"Of the cases reported, 3 280 and one death were under the age of five," reads part of the Government's weekly report on disease surveilance.

Although these statistics are for week ending February 10, health officials from Manicaland said the province was still in an outbreak situation and efforts were being intensified to curb the disease.

Provincial epidemiological and disease officer for Manicaland Dr Maphios Siamuchembu said more measures were needed to curb the outbreak.

He said so far they embarked on awareness campaigns at household level meant to encourage people to seek treatment and identify signs and symptoms of malaria.

Dr Siamuchembu said they would be distributing mosquito nets to people in affected areas and intensify village health worker trainings.

"We have so far trained 60 village healthcare workers and we intend to train 20 more.

"These will help in identifying cases and referring appropriately," he said.

Malaria is preventable and curable, but can cause deaths to patients if they delay seeking medical attention.

Malaria cases in Zimbabwe begin to rise in February and peak in April and May.

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