Malaria Cases Drop 66 Percent

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ZAMBIA has recorded a decline in the incidence of malaria by 66 per cent due to increased resource allocation to malaria control programmes and Government's commitment to fighting the disease.

Ministry of Health director of public health and research, Victor Mukonka said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) assessment of 2008, Zambia had surpassed the set targets of both the Abuja Declaration of reducing malaria illness and deaths by 50 per cent by 2010 and the Roll Back Malaria goal of reducing the global malaria burden by 50 per cent by the same year.

Dr Mukonka, who was speaking when he officiated at the launch of Vectron 20WP insecticide for vector control in Lusaka yesterday, said the achievement was due to strong political will and leadership and increased funding to malaria programmes.

"These achievements are due to Zambia's commitment to the fight against malaria as evidenced by the strong political will and leadership and increased financial resources," Dr Mukonka said.

He said Zambia had also recorded a 56 per cent decline in severe anaemia in children under the age of five years and that the malaria parasitaemia had also reduced from 2006 to 2010.

Dr Mukonka said the national malaria programme was involved in implementing an integrated approach to malaria control.

He said the major interventions were the distribution of Insecticide Treated Net (ITN) and the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and were supplemented by larval source management where feasible.

Dr Mukonka said it was important to be cognisant of the potential threat of resistance development because of the continued use of insecticides.

He said owing to this, research of alternative interventions was being encouraged through the integrated vector management strategy.

"In this vein research towards alternative intervention and an army of arsenals are being encouraged by the ministry and indeed the World Health Organization," Dr Mukonka.

Dr. Mukonka said the launch of the insecticide was welcome because it was going to add to the existing chemicals being used by the ministry to control malaria.

"It is therefore gratifying to note that in an effort to intensify malaria control intervention, partners in private sector have continued to support the Ministry through the development ofalternative tools for use in malaria," he said.