NEW: Africa University lauded over malaria reduction programme

07 Feb, 2024 - 11:02 0 Views
NEW: Africa University lauded over malaria reduction programme

The Sunday Mail

Online Reporter

AFRICA UNIVERSITY has been lauded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for effectively implementing the Zimbabwe Entomological Support Programme in Malaria (ZENTO) research project, which has helped to reduce malaria cases in the country.

Under the ZENTO project, AU has embarked on game-changing research to establish which type of mosquitoes are transmitting malaria in specific areas, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the disease.

Speaking during a tour of the AU on Tuesday, USAID mission director Ms Janean Davis said they chose to partner with the AU, as Manicaland was the province hardest hit by malaria.

However, cases have now dropped markedly.

“We have a three-year support, which is about US$1,6 million. In the early days, a lot of the support was the infrastructure, providing the laboratory equipment and a constant effort on staff capacity-building.

“We are certainly very proud of what has been achieved here through ZENTO,” said Ms Davis.

The reduction in malaria cases, she said, feeds into the broader goal of promoting development in Zimbabwe.

“We recognise the disease burden on people, children’s ability not to go for school days because of the impact of malaria, the cost to Government and the cost to the patients.

“So, anything we can do to ease the malaria burden results in a development impact.”

AU Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mageto said: “The beauty of it is that we started here in Manicaland, but it has extended into the national picture.

“The relationship between USAID and the AU is a good example of a good partnership that is happening, not only in Manicaland, but in Zimbabwe.”

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