Special Advisor to the President on Youth and Arts, Lucius Banda, has appealed to the people of Balaka to take the Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) programme, popularly known in the village as ‘Mpopela’ seriously.
The initiative which is being championed by World Vision Malawi (WVM) aims to cover 85 percent of sprayable structures in three targeted districts including Balaka.
Speaking during the launch of the district Clean-Up Day where he was guest of honor, Banda said Balaka is among the districts in Malawi where malaria cases are so rampant.
“I appeal to you all to accommodate and welcome World Vision in your homes. They are coming for a good cause. This will help us to deal with Malaria. It is a rare opportunity for Balaka,” says Banda commending World Vision for the programme.
In Balaka, World Vision intends to fumigate 132,000 structures and a similar exercise is being implemented by the organization in NkhataBay and Mangochi districts.
Commenting on Clean-Up Day, the Presidential advisor encouraged people of Balaka to always practise sanitation and hygiene to prevent diseases like Malaria and cholera.
“Let us clean our environment. Clean environment contributes to good health. Let us all take responsibility. It is our environment. Let us stop littering everywhere. It is good to take care of our surroundings as it helps to prevent diseases that can be caused by unclean of our surroundings” adds Banda appealing to the people of Balaka to support and embrace National Clean-Up Day.
Concurring with Banda, Balaka District Council chairperson, Councillor Michael Chauluka said: “We are glad for the initiative. Malaria deters development as sick people cannot positively participant in development.”
WVM Chief Party, Alexander Chikonga said the National Malaria Control Program is a milestone in combating malaria in Malawi.
“Balaka, Nkhata Bay and Mangochi were targeted for IRS because of their unique vulnerabilities where we noted that mosquito nets, on their own, are not enough”, said Chikonga, whose organization distributed over 10 million mosquito nets to Malawians in 2018.
According to 2019 World Health Organization (WHO) report on World Malaria, Malawi is among top 20 countries in Africa where the disease continues to wreak havoc. The two most risk groups are pregnant women and children, according to the report.