THE Ministry of Health has conducted Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in 227, 108 households in an exercise to stop the spread of malaria. The IRS programme started in November last year, and was concluded in January this year. Provincial health director Peter Bwalya said in an interview that incidents of malaria are high and stand at 580 in every 1, 000 people, as compared to the countrywide figure of 311 per 1, 000 population.
Dr Bwalya said the high number of malaria cases recorded in the province resulted in the ministry implementing the IRS programme so that the breeding of mosquitos is contained. He said the ministry also managed to protect 39, 338 pregnant women and 1, 788, 839 children against contracting malaria from the households where IRS was conducted.
“The province trained about 433 operators who managed to spray 227, 108 structures throughout the province,” he said. Dr Bwalya said the programme has enabled the ministry reach about 95 per cent coverage of the entire province. He said this shows that the IRS exercise was conducted successfully. He said the ministry has resolved to eliminate malaria, hence its decision to implement the annual IRS exercise among its other health programmes. Dr Bwalya said the ministry also distributes insecticidetreated mosquito nets and anti-malaria drugs to areas like Lunga district because of its location in the swamps, where mosquitos usually breed.
He said the ministry has also formed the End Malaria Council, which comprises stakeholders from various ministries, traditional leaders and the private sector. Dr Bwalya said the establishment of the council is meant to give a platform to stakeholders to be innovative in its quest to eliminate malaria. He said the council will also intensify its public awareness programme on malaria so that people are wel