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Zambia strives to eliminate malaria with China's help, says health official

Updated: April 25, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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LUSAKA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Zambia is eager to draw lessons from China's successful efforts in malaria elimination to accelerate its own pace, a government official said on Wednesday.

Sampa Chitambala-Otiono, the acting director of the National Malaria Elimination Center, emphasized the importance of learning from China's experience as Zambia strives to eliminate malaria by 2030. "The situation in China might be different, but I am sure there are one or two things we can learn from China to fasten the pace of eliminating malaria," she said.

The official expressed gratitude to China for its support to the malaria fight over the years, saying China has provided enough support such as provision of vehicles to the malaria program, donation of laboratory equipment as well as conducting training programs.

According to her, malaria remains a significant public health concern in the country, accounting for 30 percent of the disease burden, despite the interventions that have been implemented.

Zambia aims to begin using malaria vaccines next year, she said, adding that the country will need to analyze the vaccine's efficacy and side effects before administering it to the people.

She attributed the high malaria burden in the country to various factors, including the climate, which creates a conducive environment for mosquito breeding, as well as issues such as poor adherence to interventions like consistent use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Additionally, long distances to health centers and the lack of local production of drugs were cited as contributing factors.

She said that pregnant women and children under the age of five years are the most vulnerable to malaria. The government is ensuring that these two groups receive priority in terms of services to combat malaria.

Editor: Yu Huichen