Bukoba council distributes over 15,000 treated nets

BUKOBA Municipal Council has distributed over 15,000 Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) to expectant mothers and under-five children in efforts to combat Malaria.

Bukoba District Commissioner (DC), Mr Erasto Sima said that 5,593 mosquito nets were distributed to pregnant women, 4,399 to children below one year while 5,600 were given to primary school pupils.

“Authorities in Kagera Region are working on initiatives aimed at fighting malaria in the area, which will include raising public awareness about the disease and encouraging community participation in eradicating the disease,” he said.

He mentioned some of the initiatives undertaken to fight the disease as indoor residual spraying (IRS), the use of insecticide treated nets (ITN) and polio jabs to infants.

“The government is committed to ensure that people get the maximum social services including health, education and water infrastructure. My appeal to people is to invest in health by conducting regular checkups.

“Investing in health is very crucial…weak and sick persons cannot contribute positively in national building. Economic development of the country depends on good health of its people,” he said.

The DC called upon people to join the Community Health Fund (CHF) to enable them to have access to the services in time of need.

Mr Sima explained that Malaria prevalence in Kagera Region had been reduced considerably from 42 per cent recorded during 2007/08 to 15.4 per cent during 2017/18 while the national Malaria prevalence rate stood at 7.1 per cent.

Gracing the World Malaria Day in Dar es Salaam, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed the Ministry of Health to conduct a comprehensive campaign especially in rural areas to raise awareness on the disease.

He explained that although the country has recorded a decline   in confirmed Malaria cases by 55 per cent, more efforts were still needed to eliminate the disease by 2030.

The PM urged the Ministry of Health to continue using research institutions to come up with standard mosquito nets for malaria fight.

“There are so many mosquito nets. But we need those with quality so that they can effectively contribute towards the government efforts in eradicating the disease,” he said.

He also instructed the local government to ensure that mosquito nets provided by the government are used for the intended purposes and not for shielding crops in gardens.

Minister for Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu, on the other hand, said although transmission varies significantly among and within regions in the country, 94 per cent of the entire population of Tanzania is considered at risk of Malaria infections.

She further said Malaria confirmed cases declined from 7.7 million in 2015 to 3.5 million in 2022, the ailment incidence per 1000 population reduced by almost 64 per cent from 162 in 2015 to 58 in 2022.

Minister Mwalimu listed five regions with the highest Malaria prevalence as include Tabora (23.4 per cent), followed by Mtwara (20 per cent), Kagera (18 per cent), Shinyanga (16 per cent) and Mara (15 per cent).

Regions with low Malaria prevalence are Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Songwe, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.

She explained that they started a campaign to provide medication for preventing malaria infection in schools, malaria testing in households that are far away by using community members who will be given education and tools.

In addition, she said the government will also continue to provide treated mosquito nets, education and monitor prevalence at homes as part of efforts towards eradicating the disease.

This year’s day is marked under the theme: “Time to Deliver Zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate, Implement”.

There are few people who are ignorant and are opposing the exercise of their houses being sprayed. Indoor spraying can control the ailment by 90 per cent and eliminate the disease that is still a leading killer disease.

Effective public health systems from the grassroots level are important in providing care for the sick, including putting in place measures that promote preventive services of diseases.

Malaria is one of the deadliest   diseases, particularly in Africa and it is still a leading killer disease claiming almost 700,000 lives in Africa annually. Out of the number, 595,000 of them were young children.

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