PUTRAJAYA, March 14 — New vector control methods are needed to address the zoonotic malaria infection threat in the country, said Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

Speaking at a press conference after officiating the Tropical Infectious Disease Conference 2023 here today, she said that the Ministry of Health (MoH) is currently implementing vector control methods through residual insecticide spraying, the use of medicated mosquito nets and Artemisinin Combination Therapy.

“MoH needs to identify new methods to control this infection because zoonotic malaria can result in severe malaria infection and possibly death if it is diagnosed and treated late.

“Unlike cases of human malaria infection, the transmission of zoonotic malaria infection usually occurs outdoors,” she said.

According to her, a total of 527 malaria cases, including 460 zoonotic cases, were reported in the tenth epidemiological week this year.

She said it was an increase of 30.4 per cent from the 404 cases recorded in the same period last year.

Plasmodium knowlesi is a malaria parasite whose natural hosts are macaques and transmitted to humans by mosquitoes of the Anopheles sp group.

In another development, Dr Zaliha said the MoH had held discussions with the Public Service Department regarding the overtime payment issue involving health workers which has gone viral recently.

Last Friday, the MoH announced the extension of operating hours of 52 health clinics nationwide to reduce overcrowding in emergency departments.


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