Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango on Saturday launched Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in Mangochi with a call to the communities to sleep under long-lasting treated insecticide nets and keep their surroundings clean to fight malaria.
Government, with financial support from World Vision Malawi (WVM), has committed about K20 billion to implement the IRS, a vector control strategy of malaria in the next five years starting this week.
In an interview after the launch at Majuni Primary School, Traditional Authority (T/A) Jalasi in the district, Mhango said malaria remains the highest cause of illness and death in the country which affects development.
Said the minister: “Government spends millions on malaria treatment every year, but the disease is preventable. Therefore, let us follow preventive measures that will help us combat the disease and allow government save money for other critical areas.”
Mhango stressed that spraying alone cannot fight malaria.
“We need to combine different interventions such as sleeping under mosquito nets, environmental hygiene as well as seeking immediate treatment.
In her remarks, WVM national coordinator Hazel Nyathi said her organisation embarked on the intervention to combat malaria.
“In pursuit of containing the disease and of course as one way of achieving universal health coverage, we are in this drive to help combat the disease to contribute to a healthy nation,” she said.
The WVM intervention will benefit over 1.3 million people with IRS, thereby reducing the malaria burden which is at 35 percent.