2 Despite the progress made, malaria still accounts for about 40% of outpatient care in moderate to high transmission districts, especially during the peak transmission period.
3 Zimbabwe has adopted several chemical-based vector control measures to reduce malaria.
4 However, there has been increasing evidence of resistance to chemical-based malaria vector interventions.
5 This has necessitated the call for alternative non-chemical-based innovations for vector control, such as home screening.
6 Recent studies have shown that home screening significantly reduces the number of mosquitoes entering homes in several African countries.
7 However, it is still necessary to quantify the impact that home screening has on the prevention and reduction effect of malaria in different countries.
8 From now on, Zimbabwe is among six southern African countries in the WHO-AFRO region where studies on demonstrating the effectiveness of diversified, environmentally sound and sustainable interventions, and strengthening national capacity for innovative implementation of integrated vector management (IVM) for disease prevention and control is being implemented.
10 The project supports the implementation of the UNEP roadmap for the development of alternatives to DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) approved by the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) of the Stockholm Convention in May 2015.
11 The The goal of the roadmap is to make available locally safe, effective, affordable, and environmentally sound alternatives for a sustainable transition away from DDT.
12 The Afro II project study in Zimbabwe covers Districts 27 (Monyoroka Resettlement Area) and 28 (Triangle) in Chiredzi District, Masvingo Province.
13 The project consists of protecting houses by installing wire mesh screens on windows, doors, eaves and other openings to prevent the entry of mosquitoes.
14 To initiate the project, the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) with the support of WHO carried out a household enumeration, a knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) survey on malaria and an insecticide susceptibility mapping within the target community in the project district.
15 The KAP survey conducted in May 2021 aimed to assess the local community’s awareness and appreciation of malaria (the disease, causes, transmission, vectors, current interventions and treatment).
16 Speaking on the sidelines of a project field visit in Chiredzi, Mr. Wilson Chauke, MoHCC, National Vector Control Officer, pointed out how the AFRO II Project did not replace existing control measures, but added to existing mechanisms.
17 prevention and control of malaria.
18 “Zimbabwe is currently using chemical-based vector control interventions and the AFRO II project will assess the effectiveness of home screening, a non-chemical-based intervention.
19 You know that chemicals have an environmental impact that must be avoided at all costs,” said Mr. Chuake.
20 “If this project is successful, we hope to have an additional intervention that is environmentally friendly,” added Mr. Chauke.
21 Covering doors, windows, and any other openings with screens and closing any remaining gaps with mortar is simple and effective.
22 Keeping mosquitoes out of homes not only prevents the transmission of malaria, but also other tropical diseases such as dengue fever, filariasis or Rift Valley fever.
23 In addition to protecting all household members while indoors, netting is also an environmentally friendly intervention, as well as a more cost-effective and long-lasting option compared to using mosquito nets alone.
25 It is also beneficial because it is environmentally friendly and not prone to developing resistance to mosquitoes.
26 Again, it encourages community participation and ownership,” says Casper Tarumbwa, coordinator of WHO’s AFRO II project in Zimbabwe.
27 The results of the AFRO II Project are expected to help overcome challenges such as reliance on chemical-based malaria vector interventions that are prone to resistance.
28 Lack of human and technical resources, and inadequate capacity for the implementation of policies related to the safe production and use of insecticides.
30 After the preliminary activities described above, the project moved to the next stage, where the first selection phase of 400 houses began on July 25, 2022 and will last until August 5, 2022.
31 When the selection is complete, assessments to determine if there is a reduction in mosquitoes entering homes, a decrease in the number of new malaria cases, and acceptance by the community.