AU ZENTO Malaria Project takes delivery of motorcycles that will bring efficiency to entomological specimen collection and research

10 March 2022

The Africa University -Zimbabwe Entomology Support in Malaria Programme (ZENTO) Project received a delivery of 7 brand new motorcycles that shall be used by the project’s specimen collection team in the field as they conduct entomological researches and data collection in 3 districts in Manicaland these being, Mutare City, Nyanga and Mutasa.

Africa University in partnership with USAID, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), ZAPIM II and the Ministry of Health and Child Care, are working towards the goal of eradicating Malaria from the African continent by 2030 with Zimbabwe being one of the 8 countries that is a signatory of this pledge.

Already equipped with a state of the art Malaria Research Reference Insectary Unit that serves the province and the country at large, the AU ZENTO Malaria Project is making tremendous strides in the behavioral mapping, morphological analysis and insecticide efficacy measurement that feeds into the national strategy formulation on how to combat the scourge.

AU ZENTO Chief of Party Professor Sunagno Mharakurwa provided an overview of the importance of the vehicles to the work conducted in the field and what a milestone event in the life of the project the delivery was.

“The arrival of these motorcycles marks the beginning of our Malaria surveillance work in earnest. With a goal of eradicating Malaria by 2030, we have a lot of work ahead of us to make this a reality and we are certainly geared towards this. We are already contributing to this vison by providing mosquito surveillance data which supplies critical information on the movement, trends and behaviors of vectors.”

AU- ZENTO Chief of Party Professor Sungano Mharakurwa

Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mageto officially handed over the motorcycles to the team and expressed gratitude on behalf of the university for the work done to date and the continuous effort and passion that is going into the project.

“Africa University is behind you and will give you every support that you require! I am aware that your wish is to grow the AU ZENTO project into an institute of Malaria research excellence for the development of critical skills and knowledge generation in this important area. Your capacity and vison demonstrate clearly that this is something we can achieve in the near future.”

Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mageto

Prof. Mageto went on to stress the need for good stewardship of the vehicles saying,

” We trust that you shall be good stewards of the vehicles. Of whom much is given, much is expected and we must honor God  and His blessings by looking after these resources effectively. “

The Africa University ZENTO Project is designed to be a game-changing addition to the national Malaria programme that will expand the entomological capacity within Zimbabwe and increase the timely availability of quality data and information for evidence-based programmatic decision-making. By cultivating excellence in entomological laboratory and field science, the ZENTO programme aims to help maintain the gains realized in malaria control over the past decade and support  efforts to accelerate the rate of decrease of malaria incidence in Zimbabwe.