Ministry of Health and Population Services has urged key stakeholders to consolidate their efforts in fighting malaria, which is the leading cause of death especially among women and infants in Malawi.
Minister of Health, Jappie Mhango, made the remarks in Mangochi District on Saturday when he launched the Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) project to be implemented in the lakeshore district from 2019 to 2024 to the tune of K4 billion each year.
“As a country, we are struggling to contain cases of malaria in public hospitals. The government is spending a lot of resources treating malaria patients in public hospitals,” he said.
However, Mhango said the government can save resources if the country emphasised malaria prevention rather than treatment.
The last time the government conducted malaria IRS in Mangochi was in 2013 and Mhango said the initiative reduced malaria cases from 35 to eight percent.
However, malaria cases in the district are at 38 percent, a development Mhango attributed to failure by members of the community to prioritise preventive measures.
At the national level, the ministry says 6.2 million cases that are handled in public hospitals across the country are related to malaria.
World Vision Malawi National Director, Hazel Nyathi, said her organisation has finished recruitment and training 1,500 people to be engaged in the exercise.
“The indoor residual spray has proved to be an effective tool for prevention of malaria in other countries; hence, we appeal to community leaders to encourage their subjects to allow their houses to be prayed during the exercise,” she said.