Africa

Zimbabwe: Malaria death toll rises amid COVID-19

Country in malaria season but focused on fighting COVID-19, says health minister

John Cassim   | 21.04.2020
Zimbabwe: Malaria death toll rises amid COVID-19

HARARE, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said Tuesday the death toll from a malaria outbreak continues to increase.

“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 had focused more on the fight against COVID-19,” Moyo said during a news conference.

“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,” he added.

Health officials last week indicated 131 people had died from the malaria outbreak and more than 135,000 were infected.

A total of 201 outbreaks were reported, mainly in Manicaland, Masvingo, and Mashonaland East.

Owing to strong government funding, Zimbabwe reduced malaria cases from 155 per 1,000 people to 22 per 1,000 between 2003 and 2013. But since, outbreaks have steadily increased because of its absence.

The outbreaks are taking place amid a coronavirus pandemic that has affected 25 people and killed three in the country.

Globally, the virus has seen more than 2.5 million affected and nearly 175,000 deaths.

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