—-Sinazongwe District Commissioner, Dodo Sindaza, says malaria is not only the leading cause of death in Zambia but also a hindrance to the country’s social economic development.
Speaking during the commemoration of world malaria day themed, “Invest in the future defeat malaria”, held at Sinakasikili rural health post in Sinazongwe District, Mr Sindaza said Government and its cooperating partners had invested a lot of resources towards the fight against malaria at the expense of other important national developmental programs.
He said resources that were spent to fight the pandemic could have been channelled to other areas of national development such as infrastructural development, improved health delivery and education services.
Mr Sindaza called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders including Government, NGOs, the private sector, community members and individuals towards investing in the future to defeat malaria that had contributed to developmental hindrances not only in Sinazongwe district but throughout the country.
He expressed gratitude that Sinazongwe district had made steady progress in controlling malaria as the incidences had been reduced over the years.
Mr Sindaza said equally deaths caused by malaria also reduced due to investment by Government and its partners in various interventions and preventive measures against malaria.
He said all this was achieved through investment in the fight against malaria by providing Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and other prevention measures such as the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS).
Mr Sindaza also expressed displeasure that despite investing in the fight against malaria, some prevention measures such as the use of ITNs were greatly abused as mosquito nets were not used for the intended purposes.
He said information had reached his office that there was rampant misuse of mosquito nets in the communities as they were being used for fishing along the shores of Lake Kariba.
Mr Sindaza called on community members to desist from such practices if malaria is to be defeated successfully especially in areas like Sinakasikili and Mwezya where people were using mosquito nets for fishing.
The District Commission warned that any one found using the mosquito net in such a manner will face the wrath of the law because the practice was also contributing to the depletion of various fish species in the lake.
He said communities needed to act responsibly and preserve the fish species by desisting from using such fishing methods as the use of mosquito nets because the fishing industry in Sinazongwe district was their main source of income.
And Sinazongwe District Community Development Medical Officer, Nero Chilembo, that Government had already allocated 6,300 mosquito nets to be distributed in Sinazongwe district.
Dr Chilembo said other interventions that will be implemented towards defeating malaria included the door-to-door rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and sensitization on preventive measures.
He said Government, through World Food Program (WFP), will further embark on distributing long-lasting mosquito nets targeting universal distribution and not only pregnant women and children.
Dr Chilembo also commended cooperating partners for their efforts made to supplement Government’s efforts in putting up interventions and preventive measures towards defeating malaria such as World Vision Zambia, Sinazongwe area development program in particular.