Malaria prevalence still high in Kagera

KAGERA: KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC), Ms Fatma Mwassa has called for joint efforts to ensure that malaria is eliminated in the region.

Addressing a Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) meeting held recently in Bukoba Municipal, Ms Mwassa appealed to the people to use mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying to prevent transmission of the disease.

“Joint efforts are needed to reduce malaria by employing an integrated approach including prevention through mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying, prevention of the disease to expecting mothers,” she said.

She said the rate of malaria prevalence in the region was still high at 33 per cent. The Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey [TDHS-MIS] 2022) indicate that Malaria prevalence on the Mainland varies by region from under one per cent in the highlands of Arusha to 15 per cent in the Southern Zone and as high as 24 per cent along the Lake and Western Zones.

Elaborating, Ms Mwassa said the government is keen to ensure that more lives are saved through improved health delivery and construction of health facilities, including dispensaries in rural areas where most Tanzanians live.

A recent survey indicated that out of every 100 people in the region, at least 33 of them had malaria prevalence.

“Despite great efforts taken by the government to eliminate the disease, Kagera region is among five regions with a high prevalence of malaria,” she said.

Elaborating, she said during 2019 the region had recorded 580,000 malaria cases while in 2022 the number had slightly dropped to 250,000 cases. Records indicate that about 17,506 patients were admitted to various health institutions in Kagera Region during 2010 due to malaria, resulting in 242 deaths.

Out of the number, 80 per cent were children under five years and pregnant women. Records also indicate that on May 25th, 2013 about 16 deaths were recorded in Muleba district’s Rubya Designated hospital (DDH), mainly because most of the infants arrived at the hospital late.

Malaria is a leading cause of death for children aged under five years and pregnant women as well as a major cause of maternal mortality. 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, according to World Health Organisation.

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