Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
MALARIA has killed 151 people countrywide since January and Government has predicted that more cases will be recorded this year due to heavy rains.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care said flood victims are among people who are likely to suffer from malaria.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care disease surveillance weekly report shows that 17 348 malaria cases and 33 deaths were reported in the week ending 5 March 2017. Of the reported cases 1 807 and four deaths were under the age of five year. The cumulative figures for malaria are 89 261 cases and 151 death,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The statement does not give the number of people killed by malaria in each province since January.
In an interview yesterday, the Ministry’s national malaria programmes director Dr Joseph Mberi said Government was concerned with the number of people dying from the disease.
He said malaria cases will be on the increase this year.
“The heavy rains that we received translate to more mosquitoes therefore more malaria cases. That is what has affected us. Its natural phenomenon in terms of the transmission dynamics of malaria,” said Dr Mberi.
He said the Ministry has since embarked on malaria awareness campaigns and spraying in affected areas.
Dr Mberi said floods victims were among the people who were at risk of contracting malaria.
“Cross border traders, those who work at night and refugees from countries such as Mozambique are also vulnerable to malaria,” said Dr Mberi.
He blamed some churches for worsening the situation by promising miracle healing to malaria patients.
Dr Mberi said Government has enough drugs to treat malaria patients and urged members of the public to seek treatment early.
“We are bombarded by adverts through the media by religious groups, prophets and churches who urge people to come for miracles. When one is attacked by malaria he or she should just seek treatment at the nearest health centre,” he said.