Southern Province Health Director Jelita Chiyonga has bemoaned the misuse of mosquito nets by various communities across the province.
Ms Chiyonga says several communities have continued to use mosquito nets for catching fish and fencing gardens thereby frustrating government efforts to eliminate malaria.
Speaking when Southern Province Permanent Secretary Mwaangala Liomba visited Choma general Hospital to farmiliarize himself with the operations of the health institution yesterday, Ms Chiyonga informed the PS of the Ministry’s efforts to combat Preventable diseases such as Malaria and HIV.
“As a Ministry we have embarked on the distribution of mosquito nets to canter for household in the province, unfortunately some beneficiaries in rural areas use these nets for other purposes”, she said.
She said this challenge is common in Namwala, Gwembe, Sinanzongwe and Siavonga where fishing activities are high leading to increased malaria cases in those districts.
Ms Chiyonga also said Maternal mortality is slightly high with the province having recorded about 72 maternal deaths in the year 2017.
She said maternal death is high because most expectant mothers report late for antenatal.
Ms Chiyonga said the ministry is carrying various sensitization activities to encourage pregnant women report for antenatal within 16 weeks of pregnancy.
She further highlighted that failure to report early for antenatal also contributes to mother to child transmission of HIV.
And Southern Province Permanent Secretary Mwaangala Liomba used this interaction to urge the medical practitioners in the province to maintain high levels of confidentiality with patient’s information.
Mr Liomba said with the mandatory HIV testing for every patient vising any health facility, there is need for medical staff to keep the test results confidential.
He said confidentiality is key in health ethics to which the medical practitioners swore to keep as they deal with patients.