MAPUTO, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Mozambican Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that the number of malaria cases diagnosed in the country in the first eight months of this year fell by 1.8 percent when compared with the same period in 2014, but it continues to cripple the nation.
Speaking at a press conference in Maputo, the Deputy National Director of Public Health, Benigna Matsinhe, said that the country registered 4.27 million malaria cases between January and August, falling from the 4.35 million cases for the same period last year. Among them, about 1,800 people died.
"Although there is a reduction in 81,000 cases this year, compared to the same period of last year, the rate continues high and worrying," she said.
Health authorities are currently concerned with two provinces that did not register any progress but still highly hit by the disease, namely Nampula and Zambezia, the two most populated provinces of the country.
Malaria is not the only concern worrying the Maputo administration, but diarrhoeal diseases are also in the list which recorded an increase in the number of cases diagnosed, rising by 8.3 percent compared to the same period last year.
"There cases of diarrhoea unfortunately are on the rise, particularly now that we are in summer, so it's important to double the prevention measures," said Matsinhe.
In order to combat malaria, a spraying campaign was launched in September intended to reach over 3.1 million people, mostly in Maputo and Gaza provinces.
At the same time mosquito nets are being distributed. Pregnant mothers, children and the elderly are the priority for the mosquito nets program. Environmental sanitation program is among the measures the Health Ministry is undertaking to fight against both malaria and diarrhoea.