Maputo — The number of deaths caused by malaria in Mozambique has increased from 696 last year to 754 this year, an eight per cent increase, as shown by the latest figures from the health authorities.
In the same period there were 4,673,604 reported cases of malaria up from 3,803,209 registered last year, according to Tuesday's issue of the daily paper "Noticias" citing a source from the Department of Epidemiology in the Health Ministry.
Therefore, the authorities have launched a number a number of initiatives designed to help reduce the number of new malaria cases and deaths. One of these initiatives is a county wide campaign for the distribution of impregnated mosquito nets.
The authorities have already given away over five million mosquito nets since the beginning of this year in three Mozambican provinces, namely Niassa, which received just over one million nets, Cabo Delgado (about 1.5 million) and Zambezia (about three million).
At the end of the campaign, which was launched late last year in the northern province of Nampula province, the health authorities expect to reach the figure of 16 million nets, which means that most of Mozambicans will be able to sleep protected against mosquitos.
This campaign for the distribution of mosquito nets is being phased in, and on the next stage is expected to cover the provinces of Nampula, Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Zambézia, followed by the provinces of Tete, Manica, Sofala, Inhambane, Gaza and the city and Province of Maputo.
Despite the work being done for the prevention and control of malaria, the Ministry of Health has expressed its concerns with the growing number of malaria cases and deaths across the country, as shown by the current statistics.
Unlike the case of malaria, there is a significant decrease in the number of diarrhoeal disease and this is attributed to the growing awareness and health education that is being carried out in the communities across the country, calling for better collective and individual hygiene.