Help dispel conflicting malaria messages, chiefs urged

Malaria causing Mosquito
Malaria causing Mosquito

Solwezi District Commissioner, Rosemary Kamalonga has called on traditional leaders to join the malaria elimination agenda in order to have a malaria free district.

Ms Kamalonga said there is need for traditional leaders to help dispel conflicting messages on the implementation of malaria elimination interventions in communities.

Speaking in Solwezi today during the launch of the 2020 Indoor Residue Spray exercise under the theme “spraying for impact”, Ms Kamalonga said the lack of cooperation from communities is posing a challenge to the vision of having a malaria free district by 2021.

“Solwezi is one of the districts that have over 500 cases of malaria per 1,000 population, this is quite high. It is therefore, important that we inform and educate our communities and dispel conflicting messages especially on Indoor Residual Spray because it has proven to be one of the most effective strategies of combating malaria,” she said.

Ms Kamalonga said eliminating malaria needs concerted efforts from all stakeholders, adding that people need to understand that the fight is not the preserve of the ministry of health alone.

The District Commissioner said government will this year use combined malaria elimination strategies of distributing insecticide treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying and mass drug administration and called on the community to support the interventions.

She said the ministry of health targets to protect nearly 100,000 people from malaria in the district through the spraying of over 33,000 structures, adding that this is only achievable with the support from community members.

“The ministry of health targets to spray more than 33,000 structures during the 2020 campaign season, protecting nearly 100,000 residents in Solwezi district from malaria. Let me urge you to allow your houses to be sprayed so that we can eliminate malaria,” Ms Kamalonga said.

Acting Solwezi District Health Director, George Chipeta said Solwezi district has continued recording high incidences of malaria with 2019 recording 1,036 per 1,000 population in all age groups.

Mr Chipeta said the district health office will not relent in ensuring that government’s agenda of having a healthy and productive citizenry is achieved.

First Quantum Minerals Health Advisor, Kahilu Mumba said the company will continue supporting the district in its quest to eliminate malaria.

Dr Mumba said the firm will continue rendering logistical and technical support to ensure that the strategies are effectively implemented.