Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Post Reporter
THE Ministry of Health and Child Care’s annual anti-malaria programme for Manicaland is underway as efforts to control deaths associated with the disease intensify.
Last year, Manicaland recorded high rates of malaria cases as well as an increase in related deaths leading to the declaration of Mutare city as a malaria zone in December.
In an interview, provincial medical director (PMD), Dr Patron Mafaune said the Ministry had already started the sensitisation component of the programme where all health workers were receiving training in preparation for the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme, which would commence before the rainy season.
“We will be starting the IRS programme before the rains commence but in the meantime, we have already started the sensitisation phase, starting with our health workers who are receiving training in readiness for the time we will start spraying,” she said.
Dr Mafaune said the Government would use dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in six of the seven districts in the province.
She said there would however, be a change in the chemicals to be used in Buhera district from DDT to organophosphates as part of the resistance management plan.
“Mutare city will be part of the programme this year. Previously, we left the district out because it was a non-malaria zone but moving forward, we have made plans to make sure that the city is also sprayed until it returns to its non-malaria zone status,” she added. Dr Mafaune urged residents to allow health workers to spray their homes when the programme starts to ensure that the province reduces malaria cases and related deaths.