FRANCISTOWN: The Tutume sub-district has recorded two malaria deaths in a decade, a development authorities say is ‘very worrying’.
The sub-district features some villages from three constituencies being Nata-Gweta, Shashe West and Nkange.
Tutume sub-district council chairperson, Anthony Chebane confirmed the two deaths when briefing the councillors at an ordinary full council sitting in Tutume late last week. The deaths are the first to be recorded since 2011. The district has reported 14 malaria cases since the beginning of the year, a figure that is already more than the 13 cases recorded from last year over a similar period.
Chebane said the two deaths are an indication that malaria cases are likely to surge with imminent flooding in the sub-district.
The Tutume sub-district has been inundated with above-normal rainfall for the past few weeks. Chebane said floods are the biggest fear as they result in the overflow of some rivers and water streams, which are breeding areas for mosquitoes (leading to malaria).
“No village in the sub-district is immune to malaria as the disease is 100% lethal if left untreated or diagnosed late. I encourage residents in the sub-district to be cautious and visit health facilities when they experience signs of malaria,” Chebane said.
Without providing much detail, Chebane said
The Tutume sub-district is still one of the areas in the country that present a high malaria transmission rate. This is because of the constant flooding that often affects the area.
The above-normal rainfall experienced in the area often causes displacement, damage to property and a risk of an outbreak of other waterborne diseases apart from malaria.
Villages that often experience high malaria cases in the Tutume sub-district are Gweta, Zoroga, Sepako and Tsokatshaa.
This week Gweta Disaster Committee chairperson, Ledule Bareki expressed hope that the government will, through the District Health Management Team (DHMT), offer mosquito nets to residents in areas that are prone to malaria, as it often does. Meanwhile, in his address to the council, Chebane added that Gweta village is not the only area that has been severely affected by flooding as widely publicised. He noted that the flooding situation at Sepako village is also getting worse by the day. According to him, since December last year, Sepako has not been easily accessible.