Health officials renew fight against cross-border malaria transmissions in Zambia

Health officials renew fight against cross-border malaria transmissions in Zambia. | Courtesy of
Health officials in Zambia and other nations have been taking active steps to stop malaria from transmitting across borders.

Because there are game areas and various other border-crossing activities, countless busses and trucks pass through towns like Chirundu, Zambia. Sometimes these passengers wait for several hours or even days until they can clear customs. Zambia is landlocked with other nations, making its roads crucial to various trade and commerce routes.

Unfortunately, these routes are also transmitting illnesses, like malaria and HIV. Zambia and neighboring nations are considered malaria endemic. This makes cross-border malaria transmission a serious concern in the nation and the region.

Mosquitoes are known to fly considerable distances, and many times people must live in one country while working in a neighboring country. Because of these factors, some clinics in southern Zambia have thousands malaria cases that may have started in Botswana, Namibia or Zimbabwe, but political borders don’t top parasites.

For health officials, this means that plans for vector control are not as precise as they should be, because nearby nations may use different drugs and insecticides when they are only a few miles from one another.

Another challenge is that fishermen and semi-nomadic groups have an innately transient nature, which may add to the health concerns. Officials want to make a better method to track infections and then stop them at the border when they need to.

To accomplish this, the Ministers of Health of multiple southern African countries held a meeting in March 2009. They made Elimination 8 (E8) to help South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia to accomplish cross-border elimination activities and programs.

Organizations in this story

Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership PO Box 900922 Seattle, WA 98109 USA

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