Malaria Cases Spike In Chobe

Date:

  • 109 cases recorded in 4 months
  • Kazungula leads the pack with 23 cases
  • No malaria deaths recorded yet
  • Residents said to resist vector control interventions

Authorities in Chobe have revealed that malaria cases in the district are on the rise, and this has over the years been attributed to the residents resistance to vector control interventions which include the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and insecticide – treated mosquito nets.

Chobe District Council Chairman Chimney Mululwani told a full council meeting in Kasane this week that a total of 109 cases of malaria were recorded as of May 11th compared to 52 recorded during the same period last year.

He further indicated that in the 2018/2019, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 seasons, the district recorded 12 cases, 28 cases, and 52 cases respectively.

Furthermore, Mululwani said that from the cases that were recorded as of the 11th May 2023, Kazungula registered a high number of 23 cases, followed by Lesoma with 18 cases, Kasane recorded 15 cases, Pandamatenga recorded 12, Parakarungu registered 9, Mabele recorded 8, Plateau registered 6, Kachikau recorded 5, Kavimba registered 3, Satau did not record any case while 10 cases were imported.

According to Mululwani the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise coverage which is a sustained malaria control campaign conducted between the months of October to December stands at 54.3% low against the 85% target in the district. He said that Pandamatenga is the highest with 63% while Kachikau is the lowest with 41.9%.

“Due to the limited number of mosquito nets, only hotspots (high numbers of malaria) in Kasane and Kazungula received long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) or pre-treated nets as commonly known that covered only 16% of the target,” he noted.

Mululwani has further stated that over the years, health authorities have decried that the low coverage is attributed to the resistance by residents and teams finding empty households during the annual campaigns. Some residents are also refused to collect and use pre-treated mosquito nets as an alternative to IRS. He urged the councillors to join hands with the health officials and work together to come with solutions to these challenges.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria is a preventable and curable disease caused by plasmodium parasites and spread to people through the bites of infected female anopheles mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, Mululwani has also informed council that since March 2023 the district has recorded 256 cases of diarrhoea and two deaths of children under the age of five. He said that in response the laboratory tests were conducted and E.coli and Adenovirus were identified as the main cause.

‘I am however informed the situation is under control henceforth, the community is advised to remain vigilant and practice preventive measures such as drinking safe water, hand wash, maintain clean environment, and seek medical care as soon as diarrhoea starts,’ he said.

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