Malaria illnesses and deaths have decreased in Zambia by about 55 percent, says Health Minister Joseph Kasonde.
He said the country had identified a stepwise approach to establishing malaria-free zones and progressively expanding these zones until the disease had been eliminated nationally.
Speaking at the Isdell: Flowers Cross Border malaria initiative fourth annual round table meeting in Livingstone, Dr. Kasonde said that the country was committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating malaria transmission and ending the burden of the disease.
“Malaria illnesses and deaths in Zambia have steadily decreased culminating in a massive 55 percent reduction in all cases of child mortality. The country is committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating malaria transmission and ending the burden of the disease in the country once and for all,” he said
Dr Kasonde said the elimination strategic goals was aimed at eliminating local malaria infection and disease within Zambia’s Boundaries in a sustainable way by 2020 and to maintain a malaria free status and prevent its reintroduction.
He said at regional levels, Zambia intends to eliminate malaria in Zambia’s border areas with neighboring countries namely Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
Dr Kasonde said his ministry would advocate a reduction in transmission within the bordering countries.
He, however, noted that the success made so far indicate that good malaria case-management practices and the use of insecticide-treated nets were key to eradicate malaria.
Dr Kasonde said indoor residual spraying; strong community engagement and robust surveillance system could have a positive impact in the quest for malaria incidence and eventual eradication.
Earlier Isdell: Flowers Cross Border malaria initiative co-founder Neville Isdell said the global drive to eliminate malaria in the next few decades required effective coordination and communication across borders.