Government’S bilharzia and intestinal worm drug administering campaign, which was launched last week, failed to yield maximum results owing to acute drug shortages. Director of Disease Control in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Dr Portia Manangazira said in an interview on Monday
that some ground had been covered. She said much progress had been hindered by the shortage of the bilharzia drug. “We have encountered shortages of the drug Praziquantel and are still waiting for a few more supplies from our partners Unicef and this has hindered meaningful progress,” said Dr Manangazira.
“We started without adequate drugs but were hoping that our partners would quickly chip in but this has not been so.” Dr Manangazira said Government had its best, but the challenges were overwhelming.
“We have also encountered logistical challenges since we were working together with the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture.
“Other provinces like Mashonaland West are also lagging behind, but we are hoping they will quickly catch up.”
Dr Manangazira said provinces like Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East were operating according to plan and had recorded an overwhelming turnout.
The five-day exercise sought to give free treatment for bilharzia and intestinal worms and equip health institutions with supplies and manpower to deal with such cases. Bilharzia is a chronic illness usually found in wet regions. In Zimbabwe, Chikomba District is the most affected with a prevalence rate of 60 percent.