FORMER President Jakaya Kikwete on Thursday asked the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to intensify efforts against the deadly Malaria disease.
He proposed the widespread uses of treated mosquito nets and larvacide sprays to make the region malaria free.
The former president however noted that to achieve the goal, strong leadership, programme financing and the right technology were inevitable.
He was speaking to reporters shortly after addressing SADC ministers and senior officials responsible for health and HIV/Aids in Dar es Salaam.
In his capacity as member of the global End Malaria Council, Dr Kikwete said the meeting with SADC ministers was part of his assignment.
Besides Kikwete, the 2017 established council members are Bill Gates, Agenda 2030 UN Secretary General’s envoy on Health and Malaria Ray Chambers, Charnin Group Founder Peter Charnin and Dangote Group President Alico Dangote.
Others are Regional Development Fund and Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique Founder Graça Machel, Americas Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moren and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The group members, using their voices and networks, mainly focus on building political will, mobilising resources and supporting development of new tools for discovery, prevention and treatment of malaria.
Dr Kikwete has already toured Western Africa, meeting leaders on the purpose of enhancing efforts in fighting the disease.
“There are countries that have totally eliminated Malaria, the US for instance diagnosed the last malaria patient in 1956, why should we fail?” queried Kikwete.
He said the council members always meet and look at the best way they can contribute towards ensuring malaria elimination, with Africa carrying a huge burden of the disease.
“It is the disease which if we eliminate we would not only save lives of our citizens but also boost the economies of our countries,” he said.
He said a lot of efforts were made between 2010 and 2015 in fighting the disease and managed to reduce malaria but thereafter some countries seemingly relaxed.
He challenged SADC countries to embark on effective spray of larvacides to destroy the mosquito larvae.
Dr Kikwete invited countries to procure Tanzania Biotech Products Ltd manufactured pesticide to strengthen the fight against malaria by killing the larvae.