Vice President Inonge Wina has called on stakeholders to help Government in fighting Malaria.Mrs. Wina said the increase in cases of malaria especially in rural areas is a source of concern and requires concerted efforts from stakeholders.
Mrs Wina said malaria is a second killer especially among pregnant women. She was speaking when a team of Rotarian Malaria partners lead by its Co-Chairperson Mwangala Muyendekwa paid a courtesy call on her at her office.
She said Government appreciates the role that Rotarian Malaria Partners Zambia is playing in the elimination of malaria.Dr. Muyendekwa disclosed that the club has trained more than 2 thousand community workers who will be able to diagnose and treat Malaria.
After the Abuja Declaration on Roll Back Malaria in Africa in April 2000 the decade 2001- 2010 a was declared a Decade for Malaria. Efforts were intensified to halve the malaria mortality rate in Africa by 2010, and by 2005 for at least 60 per cent of those affected by malaria to have access to treatment within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.
By 2011 Zambia had recorded a decline in malaria cases by over 60%.This surpassed the set Abuja and Roll Back Malaria (RBM) targets of reducing malaria illnesses and deaths by 50% by 2010.
However after unprecedented global success in malaria control, progress has stalled, according to the World malaria report 2017.
According to the Health Information Management System (HMIS)data,malaria incidence in Zambia increased from 230/1000 cases in 2010 to 335/1000 cases in 2015 and by 2017 incidence of malaria was 480 cases per 1000 people.
However despite government interventions like indoor residual spraying and distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets people have continued to die of malaria disease.This is attributed to low utilization and misuse of mosquito treated nets and washing of walls after spraying being practiced by some members of the community.Some residents use the distributed insecticide treated nets to fence their respective gardens.
According to WHO World malaria report a funding shortage was one of the reasons for the stalled progress in the global fight against malaria.
An estimated US$ 2.7 billion was invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally in 2016. That is well below the US $6.5 billion annual investment required by 2020 to meet the 2030 targets of the WHO global malaria strategy.
In 2016, governments of endemic countries provided US$ 800 million, representing 31% of total funding. The United States of America was the largest international funder of malaria control programmes in 2016, providing US$1 billion (38% of all malaria funding), followed by other major donors, including the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, Germany and Japan.
Meeting the national malaria targets will only be possible through greater investment and expanded coverage of core tools that prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.