Malaria still a public health concern in Zambia: health minister-Xinhua

Malaria still a public health concern in Zambia: health minister

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-22 20:29:45

LUSAKA, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Malaria remains a major public health concern in Zambia despite interventions against it, Health Minister Sylvia Masebo has said.

The country recorded a 37 percent spike in malaria cases to 11.1 million in 2023 from 8.1 million the previous year, while malaria-related deaths rose to 1,602 in 2023 from 1,343 in 2022, the minister told a briefing Sunday, ahead of World Malaria Day, which falls on April 25.

"Every day, 30,400 of our people got infected with malaria, and four people died from malaria," Masebo said.

The theme for this year's World Malaria Day commemoration is "Gender, Health Equity and Human Rights," with the accompanying slogan "Accelerating the fight against malaria for a more equitable world."

Masebo said that 18 percent of the infections were in children under the age of 5 years, and 1 percent were pregnant women.

She said that despite the gloomy picture, Zambia has an opportunity to change the situation through collaborative efforts with all stakeholders.

In addressing malaria, the government has distributed more than 11.6 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets across the country, while 742,057 eligible structures have been sprayed through an in-door spraying program, the minister said.

The government, she added, has continued to strengthen community systems through training and empowering community health workers and other community-based volunteers.