A TOTAL of 131 people have so far succumbed to malaria since the beginning of the year countrywide and more than 135 000 malaria cases having been reported in the first quarter of this year, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has said.
This comes at a time when the country is set to join the world in commemorating world malaria day on Saturday.
In a statement on its twitter account, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said 18 690 malaria cases and 17 deaths were reported this week alone.
“The cumulative figures for malaria are 135 585 and 131 deaths. A total 201 malaria outbreaks have been reported throughout the country mostly from malaria provinces such as Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East,” said the Ministry.
Matabeleland South province has this year recorded an increase in malaria cases with eight deaths recorded in Gwanda and Beitbridge districts since the beginning of the year.
Ministry of Health and Child Care officials in Matabeleland South said teams have been deployed to affected areas to collect further information on the drivers of infection and have dispelled myths that the malaria cases and deaths in the province are associated with Covid-19.
In an interview last week, Matabeleland South provincial environmental health officer, Mr Notho Dube said 900 malaria cases were recorded in the province over the past two months.
He said communities were however panicking as they were confusing cases of malaria with those of Covid-19.
“Rumours were now spreading that the people who died in Gwanda as a result of malaria had succumbed to Covid-19 which isn’t true.
“People should clearly differentiate between symptoms of malaria and Covid- 19. When it comes to Covid-19 one has fever, cough, sneezes, difficulty in breathing but when it’s malaria one will have a headache, fever, joint pains and abdominal pains,” he said.