Mass Distribution of ITNs Protects Families in Zimbabwe

Apr 2013
In 2012, support from PMI and an implementing partner enabled the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to distribute 457,000 ITNs to families in seven of the most malaria-prone districts of Zimbabwe.
For Maria Bhonzi, using long-lasting ITNs correctly and consistently ensures protection against bites from the Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Source: PSI

Maria Bhonzi is 23 and lives in a rural village in Dotito, Mt. Darwin District, Zimbabwe with her husband and two young children, Marcia and Tendayi. Maria is currently pregnant with her third child. The family lives near the Chiutsa River, a major breeding site for mosquitoes. Although Maria and her family make regular visits to the local clinic to seek treatment for malaria, they are unable to afford the protection of a long-lasting ITN.

This year, the Dotito area had a malaria outbreak and Maria's two-year old daughter, Marcia, suffered her second malaria episode. Maria lost working days in the field while she was attending Marcia, and this affected her harvest. Then, Maria and her husband heard that the local clinic was embarking on a campaign to distribute free ITNs. They went to the clinic and the family received two mosquito nets — one for Maria and her husband and another for their two children.

In 2012, support from PMI and an implementing partner enabled the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to distribute 457,000 ITNs to families in seven of the most malaria-prone districts of Zimbabwe. During the distribution, 2,595 community leaders and 865 village health workers were trained on the correct and consistent use of long-lasting ITNs. A total of 250,468 heads of households were also reached with messages on correct and consistent use of mosquito nets during the ITN hang-up campaigns.

Maria grins broadly and reports, "My children and I can now sleep peacefully with no mosquito bites and this will protect us from malaria. The mosquito net is also killing and repelling mosquitoes that enter my house.” She goes on to say, “The recent net hang-up campaigns have made it easier for me to use and maintain the mosquito net without any difficulties."

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