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Zambia, Zim in malaria control initiative

ZAMBIA and Zimbabwe have launched a cross-border malaria control initiative. Here local people at Nsongwe village in Kazungula district giving their blood samples so that the medical personnel can test for malaria using a malaria rapid test. PICTURE CHALI MULENGA.

CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone
ZAMBIA and Zimbabwe have launched a cross-border malaria control initiative in an effort to eradicate the disease in the two neighbouring countries.
Southern Province permanent secretary Annie Sinyangwe said Government is aware that malaria is a public health problem that has ravaged people that live in the districts along the valley of the two countries.
In a speech read on her behalf by assistant secretary Luyanga Kapumo during the cross-border malaria initiative on Friday, Ms Sinyangwe said as a result of this challenge, various interventions aimed at reducing malaria in the neighbouring towns of the two countries have been put in place.
She said Government is also aware that the mosquito carrying the parasite that causes malaria knows no borders.
“The two countries are aware of the challenge that malaria poses to the health of the people in the valley of the neighbouring districts. We want to reduce the malaria burden in the areas in question,” Ms Sinyangwe said.
She said there is need to come up with solid programmes that will help in the eradication of malaria and to monitor the control and surveillance system.
Ms Sinyangwe noted that the province has low levels of malaria incidences despite the valley districts recording high numbers.
Acting Livingstone district community medical officer Pappy Banza said some health centres in the district even record zero cases of malaria in a month.
Dr Banza said people should be allowed to access health care nearest to where they live regardless of their nationality.
And Ministry of Health malaria programme officer John Banda said Zambia is making a lot of efforts in curbing the malaria burden.
And deputy director of the Zimbabwe National Malaria Control Programme Stanford Mashaire said Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries can only eliminate malaria if they put their efforts together.
“Malaria is a deadly disease and our people are not free from it. We will not eliminate this disease if we work in isolation. We look forward to the elimination of malaria in the SADC region,” Dr Mashaire said.

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