Harare Central Hospital conducted a five days’ workshop at the institution’s Children Hospital from 20 to 24 April 2015 in a bid to sensitise staff members on the new method for the treatment of malaria. The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the National Malaria Programme with the technical support from the World Health Organisation and other partners.

Facilitators of the workshop comprised of local senior matrons, executive members and other heads of departments. On Friday 24 April 2015 the workshop was chaired and facilitated by Infectious Disease Control Matron SNO Chakamanga, a Pharmacist Mr S. Shumba, Paediatric Hospital’s casualty sister in charge Sr Chipiro and a Laboratory Scientist Mrs Mhute.

“The purpose of this workshop is to highlight or share changes in the new management of malaria through research findings conducted by World Health Organisation…this has been prepared for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory scientists at all level of the health system”, Said Matron Chakamanga.

Participants present at the workshop were taught on the new way of managing malaria through the introduction of new medicine called artesunate.

According to a book published by the Ministry of Health and Child Care on Treatment Guidelines for Management of Malaria, artesunate is generally well tolerated, with some side effects being indistinguishable from the symptoms of malaria itself.

Quinine was the medicine used to treat malaria patients in the past.The chairperson of the Sub-committee for Therapeutics for the National Malaria Control Programme, Dr Pasi cited some advantages in the use of artesunate. “In Children, artesunate is easy to administer, fewer doses and fewer deaths”, said Dr Pasi.

“Globally, researches done in Africa and South East Asia have proved that the use of artesunate results in fewer deaths”, he added.

Malaria has in the past claim a number of lives, especially severe malaria which according to one of the facilitators, Sr Chipiro kills and it poses a threat to pregnant women and children under the age of five. Malaria is a mosquito-borne intermittent and remittent fever endemic to warmer regions and caused by a protozoan parasite.