‘Zim to be declared a malaria-free zone’

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Zimbabwe has made significant strides in fighting malaria and is set to be declared a malaria-free zone, a Cabinet minister said.

Officially opening the national malaria conference in Mutare yesterday, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare Douglas Mombeshora said the country had surpassed its targets as well as the UN targets on malaria control.

“Today, I stand in front of you with great satisfaction and pride because we were not only able to achieve the Abuja targets and the United Nations Secretary-General’s targets, but Zimbabwe managed to reduce malaria incidence rate to 4, 9% in 2010, thereby surpassing the Abuja 2010 target of 6,8%,” Mombeshora said.

He said the country was now moving towards the malaria pre-elimination stage.

“This achievement will go a long way in moving our country from malaria control to malaria pre-elimination, which we are embarking on starting next year in Matabeleland South province,” he said.

Zimbabwe set a target to reduce malaria by 95%, which is well above the region’s average of 80%.
Mombeshora said his ministry in partnership with different organisations aimed at further reducing the malaria incident rate to below 4%.

This year’s conference was held under the theme “Be free of malaria in Sadc region, know the symptoms, go for testing and treatment”.