President Michael Sata has invited the Roll Back Malaria Partnership team to visit Zambia and work with the government to develop a new approach towards controlling the high disease burden.
According to the Global Framework for Coordinated Action against Malaria, the disease is still ranked the highest cause of death among children under the age of five in most African countries, including Zambia.
Meanwhile, President Sata has told the Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership that raising funds for the control of high malaria incidences in Zambia was critical to efforts being made to reduce the disease burden especially in the remote parts of the country.
The President was speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today when he held bilateral talks with the Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore on the sidelines of the 22nd African Union heads of states and government summit at the new AU conference centre.
President Sata noted that Zambia had made positive strides in reducing malaria cases where it previously recorded alarming levels due to high deaths especially among children but that the provision of mosquito nets had helped reduced the disease burden.
“The only way to succeed in mosquito eradication is to teach people in rural areas how to eradicate mosquito breeding points and Zambia has made strides in eradicating mosquito breeding in northern part of the country,” said President Sata.
President Sata is however happy that Zambia has reduced the infant mortality rate due to malaria adding that government remained committed to enhancing efforts aimed at controlling the disease through collaboration and cooperation with key partners.
“I understand malaria, I was born and bred in a mosquito infested area. Mosquitoes were our friends when we were growing up, me and Bob,” joked President Sata who was accompanied to the meeting by Agriculture and Livestock Minister, Bob Sichinga.
And briefing the President, Roll Back Malaria Partnership Executive Director Fatoumata Nafo-Traore accepted the invitation that was extended to him by President Sata to visit Zambia.
Dr. Traore said it was important for her team to be on the ground in Zambia in order to understand the extent of the disease burden as well as use the visit to appreciate the great strides taken by the government to reduce incidences of the epidemic.
She noted that the partnership will garner every help to mobilize resources to assist Zambia fight malaria by reducing the breeding sites for mosquito parasites to further reduce transmission incidences.
The Roll Back Malaria executive director was accompanied to the meeting by Herve Verhoosel, who is the partnership representative based at the United Nations in New York.