Chimwemwe Care Group at Nkhwazi, Traditional Authority (T.A) Mavwere, Mchinji district
MCHINJI-(MaraviPost)-The myth that says sleeping under mosquito nets contributes to infertility among men in rural Malawi remains a challenge in the fight against Malaria.
This was testified during the media tour to which World Vision Malawi organised on Thursday for World Malaria Day commemoration.
Some women confessed that their husbands still shun mosquito nets for fear of being barren.
But due to series of door to do campaigns the grouping advances, men are now using mosquito nets.
Chikondi John, a mother of two, confessed that her husband was failing to meet conjugal rights after introduced to mosquito nets but later after civic educated he copied up.
“My husband could take almost a month without touching saying he had no feelings for me due to mosquito nets. He used to say he has breathing difficulties when under the net.
“But with time, he got used that now he does not allow anyone to sleep without the net which has helped us to fight against Malaria in our community,” lauded Chikondi.
During Malawi commemorated World Malaria Day in Mchinji on Friday government and development partners emphasized the need for everyone to take an active part in the fight against malaria.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Dan Namarika said malaria prevention methods can only be effective through continuous community-led action and ownership of the interventions.
“This year`s World Malaria Day theme says `Zero Malaria Starts with Me`. If every Malawian understood this and took real action to protect themselves and their families from malaria, we would quickly eliminate the disease from Malawi,” he added.
Namarika noted that many Malawians remain just spectators to the fight against Malaria, and the few who do something do not use preventive measures consistently.
He said government has put interventions in place to prevent malaria, one of which is the malaria vaccine which is being piloted in selected districts in the country where about 120,000 children below the age of two years will be vaccinated.
This vaccine has the potential to reduce malaria prevalence by 40 per cent in a short time.
“With the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and PATH, we have introduced the new malaria vaccine to selected districts this week. I am proud to say that we are the first country to have introduced the Malaria Vaccine in the world.
“We are going to closely monitor this pilot phase with the hope that we will be able to roll the vaccine out across the country once we have evaluated the results. This pilot project is a complementary strategy to accelerate the elimination of malaria,” he explained.
The Principal Secretary also said Malaria is not just an ordinary disease but has so many socio-economic implications.
“One single disease that Malawi can eradicate is Malaria, and if we are to
invest in tourism sector in a big way, Malaria should be cleared,” he said.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Malawi representative, Dr Fabian Ndenzako called for more resources from government and donors to help in the fight against malaria.
“Malawi is one of the countries that has adopted global strategies and packages of fighting malaria, and is doing very well in implementing recommended measures for preventing malaria.
“The country becomes the first to implement the malaria vaccine pilot programme. With the vaccine and other interventions of fighting the disease, we will likely see huge reduction in morbidity and mortality due to malaria,” he explained.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the USA President`s Malaria Initiative (PMI), WHO, World Vision, Syngenta, Intermed & Guilin Pharma, Sumitomo and the Malaria Alert Centre supported the Malaria Day Commemoration.
In 2018, under the LLINs Mass distribution campaign, government through World Vision distributed 10.7 million treated bed nets to households across the country.
This was complemented by indoor residual spraying (IRS) in Nkhotakota District as one of the measures to fight malaria.