• 25 Apr, 2024
  • United Zimbabwe Alliance

World Malaria Day

As we commemorate World Malaria Day 2024 in Zimbabwe, we are reminded of the urgent need to intensify our efforts to combat malaria nationwide, ensuring equitable access to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services across all regions and communities. Malaria remains a significant public health threat in Zimbabwe, with marginalised populations, including children under five and pregnant women, bearing the brunt of the disease.

Zimbabwe has made significant progress in the fight against malaria, with a notable 68% decline in cases and 55% decline in deaths between 2020 and 2022. This achievement is a testament to the collective efforts of the government, health organisations, civil society, and communities. Notable initiatives include the distribution of a quite significant number of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying in high-transmission areas, and the introduction of effective antimalarial medicines.

On this Day, we urge the Zimbabwean government, health institutions, civil society, and individuals to redouble their efforts in the battle against malaria. It is crucial to strengthen health systems, including upgrading healthcare infrastructure and training healthcare workers, expand access to life-saving interventions and address the social determinants of malaria, including poverty, lack of education, and poor sanitation. Additionally, we must intensify community engagement and mobilisation, including awareness campaigns and community-based initiatives.

Achieving equity in access to malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services is paramount in Zimbabwe, as enshrined in Section 29 and 76 of our Constitution. We must strive to ensure that vulnerable populations, including those in rural areas and urban slums, receive the care they need to combat malaria effectively. This includes increasing access to healthcare services, particularly in hard-to-reach areas, providing targeted interventions, such as bed nets and indoor residual spraying, to high-risk populations, and ensuring that marginalised communities have a voice in malaria control efforts.

Community engagement and collaboration are fundamental to our approach in Zimbabwe. By actively involving communities in malaria control efforts and forging partnerships with local organisations and stakeholders, we can harness collective knowledge and resources to make sustainable strides against malaria. We can develop innovative solutions tailored to local contexts and needs, and build trust and ownership among communities, leading to increased uptake of malaria prevention and treatment services.

The United Zimbabwe Alliance recognizes the importance of innovation and adaptation in our fight against malaria. Leveraging scientific advancements and embracing data-driven strategies, we should aim to develop and deploy innovative tools and interventions, such as new antimalarial medicines and diagnostic tests, utilise data analytics and surveillance to track malaria trends and respond to outbreaks, and adopt cutting-edge technologies, such as drones and mobile health platforms, to enhance malaria control efforts.

As we renew our commitment to accelerating the fight against malaria in Zimbabwe on this World Malaria Day, let us draw inspiration from our progress and collective determination. Together, we can overcome the obstacles ahead and envision a future where malaria is no longer a threat to the health and well-being of our nation. Let us work towards a malaria-free Zimbabwe, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.