Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) says about 287 632 people in Blantyre Rural are expected to receive mosquito nets in the recently launched national distribution exercise.
Speaking on Tuesday after touring some of the distribution sites, the district’s health promotion officer Chrissy Banda said the exercise has started on a high note and hoped that the trend will continue.
She said that to ensure good service delivery, the DHO planned to distribute the mosquito nets based on the district’s demarcated zones.
Banda, who is also Blantyre DHO spokesperson, said: “We have started with Blantyre Rural because that is where high cases of malaria are mostly reported. In Blantyre only, 281 out of every 1 000 walk-in patients are diagnosed with malaria.
“Therefore, the mass net distribution will help curb the disease and save lives of under-five children as well as pregnant mothers.”
She said government will continue its routine net distribution which will see pregnant mothers receiving one mosquito net during ante-natal and another during the post-natal stage to complement the ones they were given during the mass distribution exercise.
One of the beneficiaries, Chipiliro Patisiyo, said he will ensure that everyone in her house sleeps under a mosquito net to curb the spread of the disease.
“Once the net is torn, I will ensure that I mend it for continued use,” he said.
Village head Mpira warned that once a family is found using mosquito nets to cover backyard gardens or charcoal, they will be forced to pay three chickens to stop the malpractice.
Blantyre District started net distribution last week, with beneficiaries at Pensulo, Mlambe, Madziabango and Mpemba health centres being the first to receive.
Last year, Neno District had the highest malaria prevalence rate with over 1 000 recorded cases and the lowest being Chiradzulu with 150 cases.
Blantyre was ranked number eight out of the country’s 28 districts in the fight against malaria.n