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From Post of Zambia (Lusaka), through Africa News - Original

HEADLINE:

Malaria Cases Worry Mpamba

BYLINE: Wilson Silungwe

DATELINE: 16 December 1999

Lusaka - Between 12 and 20 per cent of the deaths recorded in hospitals in Zambia are caused by malaria infections, said health minister David Mpamba yesterday.

Opening the consultative and sensitisation meeting on Roll Back Malaria at Lusaka's Pamodzi Hotel, Mpamba expressed concern at the continued high level of malaria cases being attended to in health institutions. He said about 24 per cent of all health centre admissions and 12 per cent of hospital admissions were as a result of malaria.

"In many countries, the resources for malaria control and eradication are dwindling by the day," Mpamba said.

He said government was ready to support all operational research aimed at helping to eradicate disease.

Mpamba said there was also strong need to eliminate mortality and reduce morbidity caused by malaria especially in under-fives, pregnant women, the malnourished and chronically ill. He said the malaria-causing mosquito has in the recent past become increasingly resistant to insecticides. "Furthermore, the malaria parasite itself has developed resistance against chloroquine which is the commonest and most affordable anti-malarial drug in the country," Mpamba said.

He said the government is committed to eradication of malaria which was said to be second to HIV/AIDS in terms of mortality rate. World Health Organisation (WHO) resident representative Dr Eddie Magamu said it was necessary that all stakeholders join forces in the fight to eradicate malaria. "Partnership is needed to control malaria so as to bring down mortality rates as a result of malaria," he said.

Dr Magamu said there was hope in Zambia as the country had already gone into the inception stage of the Programme Malaria, a project by WHO to eradicate malaria in all countries in the world.

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