DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka
SOME residents of Chipongwe, Shimabala, Lukamantano and Lukolongo area in Kafue district have appealed to Ministry of Health to scale up the indoor residual spraying (IRS) in their respective areas.
Speaking in separate interviews, Jessy Makai a resident of Chipongwe said the IRS exercise has not been done in her area for the last two years.
Mrs Makai said this has resulted into an increased number of malaria cases in her area.
“Whenever I take my children for the routine under five checks, I find a lot of villagers lining up because their children have suspected malaria. I think Ministry of Health should also come to this area and spray like they used to three years ago,” Mrs Makai said.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), malaria affects more than four million Zambians annually, accounting for approximately 30 percent of outpatient visits and resulting in almost 8,000 deaths each year, with under-five children and pregnant women being the most vulnerable.
Of all the people who die from malaria, 50 percent or more are children under the age of five and 20 percent are pregnant women. Great numbers of these deaths come from more remote and impoverished areas.
Another resident of Lukolongo area, Fungai Shumba said malaria cases in her area are on the increase.
“I think something has to be done in our community, we cannot afford buying insecticide such as Doom or Target. We need massive indoor spraying. I know two of my friends had malaria during their pregnancies. Combating malaria is vitally important so as to save young lives and protect children from losing their parents,” Ms Shumba said.
Recently at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Malaria (CHOGM) Summit in London, Vice-President Inonge Wina said the entire population is at risk, children under five and pregnant women are the most vulnerable.
Mrs Wina said Government has demonstrated elimination in some parts of the country, such as the Southern province.
DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka