Second Race Against Malaria in Angola

World Today

A second race against malaria has come to an end in the Angolan capital Luanda . The 11 day tour with participants from all 12 SADC countries began on April 14 in Malawi and was held to redouble efforts to raise awareness about the disease as the southern African region aims to eliminate the disease. CCTV’s Farai Mwakutuya reports from Zimbabwe.

Second Race Against Malaria in Angola

Second Race Against Malaria in Angola

A second race against malaria has come to an end in the Angolan capital Luanda . The 11 day tour with participants from all 12 SADC countries began on April 14 in Malawi and was held to redouble efforts to raise awareness about the disease as the southern African region aims to eliminate the disease. CCTV’s Farai Mwakutuya reports from Zimbabwe.
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Mchinji District in Malawi pulled out all the stops, giving a fitting send-off to the drivers who were racing against malaria.

Malawi has made steady progress in reduction of infections and was recently awarded by AU leaders for its efforts. And as the convoy made its way through communities there it was clear the locals knew how to protect themselves.

This was just day one of a race that was to take these drivers through seven countries over 11 days.

But this is not like any other race where there are individual prizes for the winners. The winners are the millions of Africans who can look forward to a future free of malaria.

It seems a far off reality given the threat the disease poses at present.

Deaths from malaria have dropped significantly in all SADC member states. Countries like Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland making the best progress in some cases registering single digit fatalities per year.

But there are some problem children in the region. Mozambique has witnessed a resurgence of the disease. We crossed the Malawi, Mozambique border into Zobwe district. The people here go about their lives non-chalantly but live in danger of malaria.

The villagers I spoke to say deaths and cases of malaria are high because they don’t have mosquito nets and programs to spray their homes have been erratic.

The challenges are the same across the rest of the country.

It’s a different story in neighboring Zimbabwe which has reduced the number of deaths from over 2 million in 2000 to below 6000 today.

Mudzi district at the border with Mozambique is a cause for concern. This community of just 132000 people has been rocked by 65 deaths and over 28000 cases in 2014 alone. Its proximity to Mozambique cited for the high incidence.

It’s not possible for one country to eliminate alone without its neighbors. Vindication for regional efforts like this will hopefully not be made in vain.