Mwinyi urges intensified efforts in Malaria fight

Dr Hussein Mwinyi has called upon local leaders and executives especially in Malaria prone areas.

ZANZIBAR: President, Dr Hussein Mwinyi has called upon local leaders and executives especially in Malaria prone areas, to implement workable measures to eradicate the disease.

In his speech at the commemoration of the ‘2024 World Malaria Day (WMD)’ held here this week Dr Mwinyi tasked district and regional commissioners, local councils’ administrative secretaries to collaborate with health workers to ensure proper implementation of strategies to end Malaria in their respective areas.

Zanzibar has made admirable strides in ‘Malaria eliminations campaign’ since 2006, bringing down the prevalence rate from over 45 per cent at that time to 0.04 per cent last year, but resurgence in some areas, has brought shock to the government.

Dr Mwinyi’s speech at the World Malaria Day celebrations was read on his behalf by the Zanzibar Health Minister Nassor Ahmed Mazrui who pointed out that despite the achievement in Malaria campaign, there are still some areas, especially in the districts of Urban District, West ‘A’ and ‘B’, in Unguja Islands, where the disease is still a challenge.

He said, it is still possible for Zanzibar to eliminate Malaria by ensuring efficiency in implementation and good management of anti-malaria strategies on the ground in support of the government’s interventions.

“The fight against Malaria is not for the government alone, all interventions in place for the past decade must get support from leaders and citizens for us to achieve the goal. People should observe instructions from health personnel. We want to achieve the goal of ending Malaria in the country by 2029 as directed in Six -year Strategic Plan to End Malaria from 2024 to 2029,” Dr Mwinyi said in a speech.

He also said that recent statistics confirm that young people aged between 15 and 35 are more vulnerable to Malaria, because they spend more time outside houses such as sitting at leisure centres at night, and night duties.

Dr Mwinyi encouraged all citizens to sleep in treated mosquito nets and go for proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as one sees or experiences Malaria symptoms. He also argued that there is still a great need to educate the community on environmental sanitation in order to reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding sites, directing respective authorities to enforce regulations that promote cleanliness.

In strengthening the campaign against Malaria, the Zanzibar Health Minister, on behalf of the President, launched the Zanzibar End Malaria Council – ZEMC tasked with ensuring that the country finds ways of getting or sourcing funds, sustainably, to enable it to fight the disease.

He said there are existing gaps in the funding as the project relies heavily on development partners and that it is high time funds are generated locally to support and maintain the successes achieved and prevent new cases.

The council will be made up of about 19 appointed members from various ministries, public institutions and organisations, private sector, NGOs and religious institutions.

He also launched (April 25, 2024) a campaign for the distribution of treated mosquito nets in the entire islands where residents in 314 Shehas (sub-wards) in Unguja and Pemba will benefit.

Mwinyi said, a total of 782,000 nets have been purchased through the US President’s Malaria Initiative (US PMI) to combat Malaria, while Dr Habiba Hassan Omar from the Health Ministry said that Zanzibar joins other countries in the world to celebrate world Malaria Day with success.

Talking about the World Malaria Day 2024 theme: ‘Accelerating the fight against Malaria for a more equitable world’ said that it aims at evaluating the results of the investments made in the fight against the disease.

Commenting about the number of people diagnosed with Malaria in Zanzibar, she said, the number has increased from 38.3 per cent in 2022 to 87.3 per cent this year and that Unguja Island had the highest rate from 39.3 per cent last year to 88.5 per cent in March 2024, while in Pemba they increased from 25 per cent last year to 63.7 per cent in March this year.

The Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme (ZAMEP) Manager, Dr Shija Joseph Shija, said a total of 613,916 people were screened for Malaria last year, of whom 19,579 tested positive and received treatment.

Related Articles

Back to top button