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Double tragedy as malaria surge towards 136 000 cases complicating Covid-19 detection.

"The Ministry of Health and Child Care has released shocking statistics of malaria cases amid fears that these could be undetected Covid-19 cases.

"The cumulative figures for malaria are 135 585 cases and 131 deaths," reads the statement from the Healthcare ministry.

The Ministry reported that 18 690 malaria cases and 17 deaths were reported this week of these, 1935 ( 10.4%) were from under five years of age.

TSTnews learnt that these figures are alarming  considering that this year no much rains were received and in 2018 only 192 deaths were recorded country wide raising suspicions that these could be Covid-19 cases that are going undetected because of lack of testing kits.

Symptoms of malaria and Covid-19 are common including fever or high body temperature, body pains and headaches, meaning someone may suffer from both diseases complicating treatment.

Director of Global Malaria Program Padro Alonso said: "Contain Covid-19 and accelerate our fight against malaria which we know will kill hundreds of thousands of people this year in Africa. Failure to do so will send us back 20 years."

Zimbabwe is facing shortage of malaria drug chloroquine because the manufacturer Caps Holdings acquires raw materials from China and India.

The World Health Organisation encourages countries affected by malaria to carry out mass administration of malaria drugs to minimise death from both malaria and Covid-19.

The provinces hard hit  are Manicaland(Chimanimani District and Mutare District), Mashonaland East ( Mutoko District and Mbire District) Masvingo (Bikita District and Chiredzi ), Matebeleland South ( Gwanda and Beitbridge), Bulawayo Province, Mashonaland Central ( Mt. Darwin and Rushinga) and Mashonaland West (Makonde and Hurungwe Districts).

By Liberty Makusha"

Source: The Solutions Tower

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