Sharon Chigeza Post Correspondent
INDOOR residual spraying (IRS) to eliminate mosquitoes and reduce malaria related deaths is now more than 50 percent complete in Manicaland’s seven districts, an official has confirmed.
Provincial epidemiology and diseases control officer in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Munyaradzi Mukuzunga told The Manica Post that they were using a chemical rotation method in this year’s IRS in which they were using Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in six districts and organophosphates in Buhera district.
“This year we are using the chemical rotation method where we alternate the two insecticides to prevent developing resistance. Districts such as Mutasa, Mutare, Nyanga and Chimanimani districts that had been organophosphates will this year use DDT while Chipinge and Makoni will continue with DDT. Buhera, which had been using DDT for the past four years will be changing to organophosphates,” said Dr Mukuzunga.
Dr Mukuzunga said their teams were working in three clusters across the province and were targeting to finish work in areas with difficult terrain before the onset of the rains.
“The first cluster comprises Chipinge, Makoni and Buhera, the second Chimanimani and Mutare while the third has Nyanga and Mutasa.
“Mutasa and Nyanga are the most challenging districts due to their terrain, which is usually difficult to navigate after the rains. Currently the teams in these two districts have covered a lot of ground and will be moving on to low-lying areas, which can always be sprayed even after the rains commence due to their accessibility,” he said.
Chimanimani and parts of Mutasa district have been completed with work currently underway in Mutare, Nyanga and Chipinge districts.
Dr Mukuzunga said the IRS programme, which commenced on October 1 was going hand in hand with community diagnosis programmes as well as awareness campaigns.