Malaria fight gets 10 million nets

PRESIDENT Lungu has launched a country-wide distribution of over 10 million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLINs) bought at US$26 million with a call on all Zambians to use the malaria prevention facilities.

The President said due to several malaria elimination interventions Government has put in place, the country has recorded a drop in the disease prevalence rates from 407 cases per 1,000 people in 2014 to 335 cases per 1,000 individuals in 2015.
Mr Lungu said this in Lusaka yesterday in a speech read for him by Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya during the commemoration of World Malaria Day under the theme ‘End Malaria for Good’, and re-branding of the National Malaria Elimination Centre.
“My government will continue distributing these long-lasting insecticide mosquito nets through antenatal clinics, under-five clinics and schools. I therefore call upon each and every individual to sleep under treated mosquito nets every night. By so doing, we will all be contributing to elimination of malaria,” he said.
The head of State said Government has developed the 2012/2021 National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan, which guides the national malaria elimination efforts in the country.
The strategic plan aims to eliminate malaria infection and disease by 2021, maintain a free status, and prevent re-introduction and importation of malaria into areas where the disease has been eliminated.
President Lungu said the strategic plan will place emphasis on sustained universal coverage of vector control interventions which will include indoor residue spraying (IRS), distribution of LLINs and larval source management.
He said the country has continued to increase coverage of IRS from 72 districts in 2012 to 100 districts in 2016.
President Lungu said Government will this year conduct another IRS campaign which will target 100 percent of all eligible structures in the country with the aim of protecting the entire population from malaria.
“I therefore appeal to everyone, including our traditional leaders and religious leaders, to support the implementation of these interventions in order to accelerate malaria elimination in our country in line with our vision of a malaria-free Zambia,” he said.
United States (US) Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz said in a speech read for him by Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher Krafft that the US has contributed more than US$210 million to malaria elimination programmes in Zambia since 2008.
United Nations resident coordinator Janet Rogan commended Government for launching the 2017/2021 strategic plan to eliminate malaria.


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