VILLAGERS and smallholder farmers in Beitbridge have appealed to government to deploy auxiliary community health workers to combat a malaria outbreak wreaking havoc in the district with more than six deaths recorded this month.
By Rex Mphisa
The latest death was on Sunday as dozens others, children included, trooped to Beitbridge Hospital where they are admitted at the 140-bed district referral institution.
Already, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has dispatched a provincial team to Beitbridge to investigate the recent spike in the disease that has made inroads into urban
Matabeleand South provincial environmental health officer Notho Dube did not respond to questions despite an earlier undertaking.
“I will call you at the moment I am driving,” he said.
Earlier, provincial medical director Rudo Chikodzore referred questions to Dube saying she was busy.
Health ministry spokesperson Donald Mujiri was not picking calls. Villagers said the government should give due attention to the disease.
“There is need now to have more community outreach health workers to arrest the outbreak. Many people in outlying areas have been attacked by malaria, but have transport challenges,” said Sithabisiwe Mulowa, a resettled farmer in the Kleignbegin area, 50km north of Beitbridge.
“A lot of people in my area are under attack from this disease,” she said.
“Due to acute water shortages, people camp at the boreholes where at night they are vulnerable,” said Mulowa who had rushed a neighbour Richard Mapfumo for malaria treatment.
Malaria cases are also on the increase in Gwanda, Uzumba, Maramba and Pfungwe.