Malawi registered five million malaria cases in its health facilities in 2012 alone and lost 5,500 people to the disease which is preventable and curable.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Charles Mwasambo made the revelation in Lilongwe at the launch of the 2012 Malaria Indicator Survey last week.
The event also disseminated other malaria research findings.
“In 2012 alone five million malaria episodes were treated in the country’s health facilities and about 5,500 people died from the disease,” said Mwansambo.
He said the results of the survey will help provide the current comprehensive outlook on Malawi’s malaria burden but also review the gains made in implementation of malaria control interventions.
He however expressed pleasure in the survey results which indicated a decline of malaria prevalence in under five children from 43 per cent in 2012 to 28 per cent as of this year.
Mwansambo urged all health partners to use the study findings in implementation of their activities.
“I would like to request all partners to use the findings of this survey like drug efficacy and entomological monitoring in the implementation of their activities. This will ensure that all interventions address the current challenges as inferred in the findings,” he said.
He also said the government is seriously committed to controlling malaria as evidenced by the effective strategies that have been put in place to fight the disease.
The Ministry of Health has adopted the universal access to Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) and the strategic goal is to provide a net to every two people per household through mass distribution campaigns.
In 2012, the Ministry distributed about 5.6 million LLINs across the country.
“The Ministry of Health highly regards and values research work being undertaken by various institutions in the country.
“This is why the meeting today is very important as it provides a platform to share the current knowledge on malaria with implementers, policy makers, development partners, media fraternity and civil society organisations,” he said.
Another strategy being implemented under malaria prevention is the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) under the vector control and is being implemented in six districts of Karonga, Nkhata Bay, Salima, Mangochi, Chikhwawa and Nsanje.
This initiative is being done in collaboration with other development partners like USAID and World Health Organisation who are providing technical and financial support.