Zambia reports 37% rise in malaria cases, as country posts average daily infections of 30,400 in 2023


Zambia in 2023 reportedly recorded a 37 percent increase in malaria cases, from 8.1 million in 2022 to 11.1 million in 2023.

During the same period, the country recorded a 19 percent increase in malaria deaths, from 1,343 in 2022 to 1,602 in 2023, according to Health Minister Sylvia Masebo.

Addressing a media briefing in Lusaka on Sunday, Masebo said this implied that 30,400 people got infected with Malaria and four people died from Malaria every day.

She stated that it was even more disheartening that 18 percent of these infections were among children under the age of five years while one percent were pregnant women.

“These are just not numbers, these are our children, our mothers, our sisters, our nieces, our nephews, our parents, our friends and our fellow beloved human beings,” the minister said.

Masebo highlighted that in trying to address this increase in the cases and deaths, the Ministry had just completed the distribution of more than 11.6 million insecticide treated mosquito nets across the country.

She added that this translated into the protection of 23.2 million people. She, however, noted that owning a mosquito net was not sufficient but that the game-changer was the actual use.

“For these mosquito nets to be effective, they must be used correctly and consistently, every night and throughout the year,” the minister stated

Masebo said a total number of 742,057 eligible structures had been sprayed through the Indoor Residual Spraying programme.

She stated that this meant over 3.4 million people had been protected with this vector control intervention.

“We have also continued to strengthen community systems through training and empowering Community Health Workers and other community-based volunteers,” the minister said.

Read More: Malaria is prominent disease, as Flying Doctors intervene in Mufumbwe district

Masebo indicated that her ministry had continued to increase access to malaria diagnostic and treatment services in the hard-to-reach areas through the deployment of trained community health workers.

She said to date, more than 22,000 community health workers had been deployed across the country and that an additional 3,000 would be trained this year leading to ensuring health equity and the right to malaria services.

“To have a Nation of Healthy and Productive People, we need a “Malaria Free Zambia” as emphasized in our National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan 2022–2026,” the minister stated.

Masebo said the strategic goals aim to lower the burden in high-malaria transmission settings, eliminate local malaria infection, maintain a malaria-free status and prevent re-introduction and importation of malaria in areas declared malaria free.

Zambia commemorates this years’ World Malaria Day on April, 25, under the global theme “Gender, Health Equity and Human Rights” with an accompanny slogan “Accelerating the fight against malaria for a more equitable world.”

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