William Busumani, a public health officer in the ministry said 1,5 million cases of malaria are recorded annually. Busumani told journalists at a workshop in Mudzi that malaria was the second highest killer for children below the age of five years after Aids.
He said despite government efforts to control malaria, villagers in Mudzi were resisting residual spraying and do not use mosquito nets. Busumani said the villagers instead spent the nights chasing away wild animals from their fields.
Indoor residual spraying applies a World Health Organisation approved insecticide to the indoor walls, ceilings, eaves of houses to kill or shorten the lifetime of mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite.
Fortunate Manjoro, a health information education and communications officer in the same ministry said some villagers were refusing to have their homes sprayed for religious reasons.
But some villagers disagreed saying the reason they resisted the spraying was because they felt the chemicals used were not effective. “We expect the mosquito to die after the spraying but they will be biting us on the same day they spray the chemicals,” said one villager.
“Last time I refused to have my house sprayed because of that.” Another villager who wanted to be referred to as Gogo Benihilda said the mosquito nets from the ministry were not enough for her family of eight.