Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
Government has put in place mechanisms to curb the spread of malaria in Masvingo, amid reports that teams have been equipped with materials for mass mosquito spraying throughout the province.
Masvingo provincial medical director Dr Amadeus Shamu yesterday said preparations for mosquito spraying was on course.
He said the presence of biomass and swamps was fuelling the breeding of anopheles mosquitoes, which caused malaria, hence the need for a robust spraying exercise.
“Mechanisms to fight malaria in Masvingo province are on course,” said Dr Shamu.
He said the Ministry of Health and Child Care had organised 10 teams, based in Chiredzi, which was considered a red zone in terms of malaria prevalence.
“We have 10 teams to cover the whole province,” said Dr Shamu. “The teams will start in Chiredzi then Mwenezi before we divide them to cover Zaka and part of Masvingo District. Chiredzi has since time immemorial been our red zone in terms of malaria prevalence and that is why we have teams stationed in the district.”
Dr Shamu said as far as the Ministry was concerned, the situation was still manageable and necessary interventions were in place for any outbreak of malaria.
“We encourage people to cover their bodies at night and to cut grass around their homes,” he said. “Due to the presence of biomass and swamps, mosquito breeding may be thriving in many areas.”
Malaria is an intermittent and remittent fever caused by a protozoan parasite, which invades the red blood cells and is transmitted by mosquitoes in many tropical and subtropical regions.
The fever is transmitted through the bite of an anopheles mosquito.
Zimbabwe has a long history of malaria outbreaks because of its high altitude, although low-lying areas have tended to have the highest recorded cases.
The country’s malaria endemic areas include Mutare, Gokwe, Mutoko, Dande, Chikombedzi in Chiredzi, Mudzi, Hwange and Mt Darwin.
Malaria is the biggest killer of children under five and pregnant women in the country after HIV and Aids. Malaria is preventable and curable, but can cause deaths if patients delay in seeking medical attention.