Nearly 3 million people from Mangochi, Balaka and Nkhata Bay are safe from malaria. This follows a successful Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) project by World Vision and the Ministry of Health, informed by a review of malaria prevention interventions organised by World Vision and the Malawi Ministry of Health.
Celebrating the milestone, Deputy Director in the Ministry of Health responsible for malaria prevention, National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) Doctor Michael Kayange said this is important considering the need to keep malaria in check, especially now that the country is also grappling with COVID-19.
“We have done so well, because our spray coverage is over 90% in all the districts where we have rolled out IRS. Consequently, we have also reduced malaria incidences by over 50% in Mangochi [and Nkhotakota] where we started implementing the project earlier on”, said Kayange. He later stressed on the need for people to stay vigilant with malaria because even in the midst of COVID-19, the disease is still claiming many lives.
Malawi remains highly burdened with malaria, with over 24% of the people who visit hospitals suffering from the disease. In the IRS process, walls of houses are sprayed with insecticides that kill mosquitoes.
In his remarks, World Vision's Deputy Chief of Party responsible for malaria interventions in Malawi, Prince Nkhata, thanked the Malawi Government for the support that his organisation received in implementing the recent phase of the project. “Apart from our staff members, I would like to applaud health surveillance assistants across the districts where we worked for the key role they played in ensuring that we reach every household and keep every child free from Malaria”, he said.
The IRS programme in World Vision is implemented with financial support from the Global Fund to a tune of US$ 36 million. The project started in 2021 and runs to 2023. In Nkhotakota, Vector Link is implementing a similar project, funded by the United States Government.