A senior government official has said malaria kills eight people every day in Malawi which translates into 3,000 deaths every year.
Principal secretary in the ministry of Health and Population Dan Namarika said the last year alone, six million people were down with malaria negatively affecting economic and social lives of people.
Namarika said this on Friday in Mchinji during the commemoration of World Malaria Day.
“We need to move with speed to put in place tangible preventive and control measures of malaria if the country is to eradicate malaria by 2028,” he said.
Namarika said malaria also affects negatively the tourism sector, saying tourists fear coming to Malawi fearing malaria attacks.
“If we want more visitors to come to Malawi, then we need to completely eradicate malaria,” said Namarika.
The commemoration of the World Malaria Day comes just days after Malawi became the first country in the world to have a malaria vaccine for children.
However, some health experts say malaria can be completely eradicated with the use of DDT, a chemical which was banned in Malawi due to its long lasting effects in agriculture.
Some years ago, the ministry of Health and ministry of Agriculture were at loggerheads after the ministry of Health wanted the spray of DDT ad is the case with Botswana and South Africa to completely eradicate the deadly disease.
Dr Michael Kayange, Deputy Director of Malaria, Ministry of Health of Malawi said that work with the communities will continue to support malaria prevention, with continued promotion of bed nets to protect families against infection.
“We have communication teams on the ground to make sure that women get the correct messages,” Dr Kayange said. “They should not think that when their children get the malaria vaccine, they are fully protected. They can still pick up malaria if other preventive measures are not being used.”
The World Health Organization said immunising young children against malaria is a landmark large-scale pilot of the first vaccine to give partial protection against the disease.