At least 131 people have died and more than 135,000 infected in a malaria outbreak as a COVID-19 pandemic hits Zimbabwe.
“The cumulative figures of malaria are 135,585 and 131 deaths, a total 201 malaria outbreaks have been reported throughout the country mostly from Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East. 90 outbreaks have been controlled,” the Health Ministry said Saturday on Twitter.
It said, “This week, 18,690 malaria cases and 17 deaths were reported. Of the reported cases 1935 (10.4%) were from the under five years old.”
Zimbabwe reduced malaria cases from 155 per 1,000 people to 22 per 1,000 between 2003 and 2013, because of strong government funding.
But as the country continues to face serious economic challenges, as well as deterioration of health delivery systems, malaria outbreaks have steadily increased.
The outbreaks are taking place amid a COVID-19 pandemic that has infected 24 and killed three in Zimbabwe.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected more than 2.3 million and killed nearly 161,000 people.