Government has targeted to spray over 23,000 households in Masaiti district this year under the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme.
The IRS involves the Ministry of Health spraying a World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended chemical on the walls of people’s homes which kills off mosquitos and lasts at least six months.
Masaiti District Commissioner, Mike Musonda, said government wants to achieve a 100 percent coverage this year on the programme to improve on last year’s achievement of 82 percent coverage.
Mr. Musonda said government considers the IRS programme as an effective tool for eliminating malaria in the district due to its preventive nature.
He disclosed that at least 86,000 cases of malaria were recorded in the district this year, which meant that eight out of ten people in the district had contracted the disease.
The District Commissioner was speaking in Masaiti during the launch of the IRS programme yesterday.
And Copperbelt Province Health Director, Robert Zulu, called for concerted efforts in the fight against malaria in the district.
Dr. Zulu said in a speech read for him by Copperbelt Province Malaria Focal Point Person, Christine Mulesu that it was only thorough working together, coupled with combined interventions such as distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNS) that the district would be able to achieve 100 percent coverage under the programme.
He affirmed that government wants to reduce malaria cases in the district in line with its national target of eliminating the disease in Zambia by 2021.
“”Without your support, and the leadership in the district, we will not be able to meet this target that we have set for ourselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, Masaiti Council Chairperson Christine Chande, has urged people in the area to continue being receptive towards the spray operators whenever they visit their homes.
Ms. Chande said government had spent huge amounts of money to ensure that people’s homes are sprayed and protected from contracting malaria.
“We are supposed to remain very welcoming whenever the teams visit your homes, allow them to do their work and help you protect yourselves,” she said.