KCM to launches anti-malaria campaign
December 2, 2014
Chingola, 2nd December 2014 – Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) today launched the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaign intended to eliminate malaria incidences in areas of its operations.
KCM is targeting to spray 20,000 households in high malaria incidence areas in Chingola and Chililabombwe. The company is providing all logistics, including insecticide, which constitutes approximately two-thirds of the Malarial Rollback Programme (MRB) total cost.
In previous campaigns, KCM sprayed between 35,000 and 40,000 in each of the 13 years the programme has been undertaken leading to more than 70 percent reduction in the malaria incidence rate in the company’s health facilities and a reduction in total malaria-related deaths from 22 to 4.
Speaking during the launch of the spraying campaign, Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Howard Sikwela said KCM would spend about $356,000 (approximately K2.24 million) on the IRS programme, out of which $262,000 is to be spent on chemicals.
“This year, KCM is also bringing in Long-Lasting Insecticide treated Nets (LLINS), which will be made available to employees at cost price to facilitate the formation of a revolving LLINS fund and therefore, enhance sustainability of LLINS provision. The total cost of the nets is $81,680,” he added.
Rev. Sikwela said the exercise was critical to ensuring good health because malaria treatment was costing the country huge sums of money and accounting for a large portion of hospital admissions.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) at one time listed malaria as the biggest single killer of humans in sub-Saharan Africa, even surpassing AIDS,” he said, emphasising that malaria must be defeated.
Rev. Sikwela said the Government, through the National Malaria Control Centre (NMCC) had also given KCM 4,011 sachets of Ficum, a chemical used against the anopheles mosquito, the carrier of malaria parasites, costing approximately $46,000.
KCM General Manager – Corporate Services Howard Chilundika said the launch was part of the broader KCM health delivery package, which includes HIV/AIDS interventions, the provision of routine medical services and community health care.
Mr Chilundika said KCM spends around $16 million per year in supporting the health systems, and will continue to provide this support, as a link between private sector participation in building a healthy Zambia by fulfilling the Government’s national health delivery programmes.
“The program has been replicated in other areas using KCM as baseline. Our assurance is that we will continue to implement these programmes because a healthy nation is a productive nation,” he said.
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