OVER 50% of the country’s population is at risk of contracting malaria despite the introduction of several measures to combat the disease, a Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) report has revealed.
By Stephen Chadenga
“Malaria is a major health problem in Zimbabwe with 50% of the population at risk although its epidemiology varies in the different provinces of the country, ranging from year-round transmission in the lowland areas to epidemic-prone in the highlands,” part of the report read.
“The vision of the plan is a malaria-free Zimbabwe and the goal is to reduce malaria incidence from 95/1 000 in 2007 to 10/1 000 by 2015 and reduce malaria deaths to near zero by 2015.”
The report indicates that 53,7% of households had at least one mosquito net, 42% had an insecticide-treated mosquito nets and 40,4% had access to a long-lasting insecticidal treated net.
The Zimstat report revealed that 23,2% of households received indoor residual spraying over the last 12 months.
In 2013 alone, 326 people died of malaria while 386 505 cases were reported countrywide.
In Zimbabwe, the malaria burden has decreased significantly over the past decade from an average of two million cases and 5 000 deaths per year in the early 2000s, to below 400 000 cases and less than 300 deaths per year.