Zambezi region launches effort to eliminate malaria

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Children peeking under a mosquito net

A regional initiative that aims to eliminate malaria in the Zambezi valley was launched Thursday by Zambia and Zimbabwe, with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Trans-Zambezi Malaria Initiative, announced on World Malaria Day, will accelerate efforts to eliminate malaria in the region with focused intervention, supported by existing grants from the Global Fund.

Malaria infects 219 million people and causes 660,000 deaths per year. About 80 per cent of those cases and 90 per cent of those deaths occur in Africa.

Zambia's Minister of Health Dr. Joseph Kasonde said the cross-border initiative "will accelerate reduction of malaria transmission among border communities through implementation of coordinated cost-effective malaria control activities," adding that "It will also initiate new ones, such as the upcoming Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi initiative."

Southern Africa's climate and geography are a breeding ground for the deadliest form of malaria. The transmission season for malaria generally extends from November to May.

The Global Fund is currently supporting three malaria grants in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'10"

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