25 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Cyclone Idai - Malaria Cases 25 Percent Up in Manicaland

Photo: G. Tapper/WHO
In Timanguene, Mozambique, workers with a non-profit health research centre go door to door carrying out activities to prevent malaria and reduce transmission of this mosquito-borne disease. (file photo).

Manicaland province has recorded an upsurge in Malaria cases this year largely due to the Cyclone Idai which left behind an increased number of pools with stagnant water- a conducive breeding environment for mosquito.

A total of 49 665 cases have so far been reported in the province since the beginning of the year against a national figure of 117 714 during the same period.

Malaria is among the top causes of illness and deaths in Zimbabwe, with over half of the population living in high-risk areas.

National Malaria coordinator Dr Joseph Mberikunashe said malaria cases have been on an increase in Manicaland province and the numbers are likely to shoot up.

"We have begun seeing to an increase of malaria cases in some districts in Manicaland province following Cyclone Idai that ravaged the province in March.

"Manicaland only has contributed almost half (43%) of all malaria cases that have been recorded in the country so far," he said.

Dr Mberikunashe said nationally, malaria cases have, however, increased by nine percent.

He said government, with support from its partners, was already offering mosquito nets and was also mobilising resources for procurement and distribution of mosquito repellents.

Meanwhile, the United States of America says it is committed to continuing its support to the people of Zimbabwe in fighting malaria.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) has contributed long-term substantial investments to end malaria.

USAID has provided over $105 million since 2008 to prevent and treat malaria, reaching almost a million Zimbabweans with lifesaving health services.

USAID Mission Director Stephanie Funk stated, "Malaria has long threatened the people of Zimbabwe, but the data show a notable decline in malaria cases and deaths. USAID is proud to be a partner in such impressive progress."

Dr Joseph MberikunasheMalariaUSAID

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