|WRITTEN BY THERESA CHAPULAPULA|
|Malaria continues to kill thousands of people annually with the latest report indicating that last year Malawi registered 8,006 deaths.
According to the report by National Malaria Control, Mwanza registered more deaths for every 10,000 population while Lilongwe and Mangochi registered more deaths in absolute numbers.
Mwanza registered 247 malarial deaths while Lilongwe and Mangochi had 689 and 744 respectively.
The report also shows that 6,748,535 new malaria cases were registered between January and December 2010.
Lilongwe had 889,537 cases, Zomba 307,402 and Mwanza 103,255.
Reacting to the statistics, Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) Executive Director Martha Kwataine said it is high time government conducted a survey to establish the effectiveness of anti-malaria measures currently in place such as the distribution on treated mosquito nets.
“The figure shows that about half of the population was attacked by malaria, this means that everybody is vulnerable to malaria,” said Kwataine in an interview last Thursday.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali said they have put in place strategies of malaria prevention to ensure that people in Malawi are effectively protected from it.
“The primary intervention is to diagnose and treat malaria cases using effective and recommended drugs. In Malawi, we are currently using Artemether-Lumefantrin (LA) as a drug to treat malaria,” he said.
He said the main strategic areas for integrated malaria vector management are long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs).
Chimbali said the ministry is aiming at increasing LLINs coverage through universal access whereby a net will be provided for every two people in Malawi.
He explained that other preventive measures are indoor residual house spraying and larviciding.
Chimbali, however, bemoaned the tendency by some people who are reluctant to use nets and others who misuse them for other unintended practices.