Malaria in Zimbabwe exacerbated by Covid-19
A new outbreak of malaria in Zimbabwe is being worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic
The World Health Organization cautioned that there is a risk of diseases such as malaria being neglected during the pandemic. “The malaria community must remain committed to supporting the prevention of malaria infection, illness and death through preventive and case management services, while maintaining a safe environment for patients, clients and staff. Deaths due to malaria and its comorbidities (anaemia, undernutrition, etc.) must continue to be prevented,” said a recent report.
It is currently malaria season in Zimbabwe and a total of 201 outbreaks have been reported, mainly in Manicaland, Masvingo, and Mashonaland East. But with these outbreaks occurring in the midst of a global pandemic, resources are stretched.
Zimbabwean Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said that the death toll from malaria is on the rise. “The malaria death toll has increased and as we speak it’s now 152. We are in a malaria season in Zimbabwe but the country has focused more on the fight against Covid-19,” Moyo said. “We normally have our teams going out to test for malaria around this time and those found with malaria would receive their treatment. We have now started sending teams out, hence we have picked the outbreaks.”