HC Deb 27 January 2004 vol 417 c284W
John Barrett

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on malaria levels in Zimbabwe. [150107]

Hilary Benn

In recent months, reported numbers of malaria cases and malaria deaths have been close to the seasonal average. However, the risk of a serious worsening of the malaria situation is increasing owing to incomplete coverage of routine prevention measures and inadequate stocks of antimalarial drugs as the rainy season progresses and the peak season for malaria approaches.

The ability of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to control malaria is currently threatened by lack of staff and lack of access to foreign currency for purchase of insecticides and drugs. Zimbabwe is one of the countries that benefits from a grant of £17.3 million over six years provided by DFID to the Africa Regional Office of the World Health Organisation for the purpose of accelerating action to control malaria and childhood illness.