khotakota district commissioner (DC) Ben Tonho has commended VectorLink, a non-governmental organisation, for implementing Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) intervention to combat malaria.
He expressed the sentiments on Thursday in Salima when he opened a micro-planning meeting ahead of the IRS spray campaign to be launched in Nkhotakota.
Tonho said since the launch of the intervention four years ago, malaria cases have declined from 24 percent in 2017 to 10.5 percent in 2021.
“Last year’s IRS campaign team did a good job. I urge Nkhotakota District Hospital health workers and other council officers not to relent in the fight against malaria,” he said.
Nkhotakota District Council chairperson Gaziel Chimzere asked VectorLink to extend the project which is expected to phase out next year.
“It is clear that with the intervention, malaria cases have declined. It wouldn’t be wise to phase out a project which is having positive impact,” he said.
VectorLink chief of party Abdoulaye Bangoura said IRS proved to be effective in reducing malaria-related deaths among under-five children and pregnant mothers.
He asked participants to put in place plans that will result in the successful implementation of the project this year.
Ministry of Health national malaria programme manager Michael Kayange assured participants of government’s continued interventions to combat malaria in Nkhotakota.
“Let me assure you that whether the project phases out as planned or not, there is no need to panic since the district is being considered to benefit from a malaria vaccine programme,” he said.
Besides IRS, government also encourages people to sleep under mosquito nets to reduce malaria cases in the country.