FQM Urges Malaria Fight

FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) has called for more substantial efforts and resources to fight malaria as the status quo has negative implications for Zambia’s continued social and economical growth.

The mining company says that more progress can be made in eradicating the parasitic disease that kills three children every day. This can be done by focusing on priority areas of Indoor Residue Spraying (IRS), distribution of mosquito nets and sensitisation of communities.

This is contained in a statement released in Lusaka by FQM public relations Consultant, Davis Mulenga on the eve of World Malaria Day that falls tomorrow. According to the statement, FQM health coordinator, Gertrude Musunka, said the mining firm had a g shared view with the government that malaria was not just a health problem, but a development problem.

“As this year’s World Malaria Day also coincides with Zambia’s Golden Jubilee, the fight against malaria gains greater significance and urgency because of its implications of keeping Zambia on a continued path of social and economical growth,” Ms Musunka said.

Statistics indicate that Malaria inflicts social and economical losses on Africa, Zambia included, in the order of US$12 billion annually. It kills more than 6000,000 people worldwide, Africa accounting for 400,000 and Zambia 8000.

Ms Musunka said it was in identifying the significant risk malaria poses to Zambia’s social and economic growth that has created the impetus for FQM to invest US$2 million per year in improving health facilities.

The amount also goes towards up-scaling institutional capacity and aancing education programmes in communities and outside areas where the company operates. Zambia has over the years made considerable progress in reducing the prevalence of malaria, and the efforts were recognised by the United Nations (UN) in 2012.

Ms Musunka said FQM was optimistic that the positive gains it has made with its spraying and distributing of nets at Kalumbila, where it is scheduled to commission Sentinel, can have greater impact.

She also noted that more significantly, Kalumbila was an area where the prevalence of malaria was as high as 60 per cent.

Source : The Times of Zambia

Leave a Reply