APPROXIMATELY 108,000 households in Biharamulo District will be sprayed in an effort to control the spread of malaria, it has been disclosed.
Kagera Regional Health Officer, Mr Nelson Rumberi disclosed that the spraying exercise started on November 11, this year and will continue until December 21.
He explained that the region had succeeded to reduce the prevalence rate of malaria from 42 per cent during 2007/2008 to 15.4 per cent last year, citing concerted efforts they mounted in the region, including Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) and polio jabs to infants.
“On behalf of Kagera residents, we thank President John Magufuli for his efforts in improving the welfare of poor people through improved health services. The availability of essential medicines at health facilities in the region was almost 98 per cent.
This is due to the fact that Dr Magufuli increased the budget for buying medicines from 31bn/- to 269bn/-. This is a big achievement,” he said.
Mr Rumberi elaborated that about 1,435,277 Insecticide-Treated Nets were distributed to Kagera residents in effort to control malaria, while about 90, 670 ITN were distributed to pregnant women and 231,267 nets were distributed to students.
However, he explained that despite the achievement, a recent survey revealed that Biharamulo District still had high malaria prevalence rate at 35 per cent, followed by Ngara District with 41 per cent, while Muleba District had 40 per cent.
Bukoba Municipal Council recorded the lowest malaria prevalence rate with three percent while, Missenyi District recorded 11 per cent. Out of 1,435, 277 patients who tested for malaria, at least 501, 528 patients proved malaria positive, implying 35 per cent.
Expounding, he said the number of dispensaries increased from 206 during 2005 to 239 by 2010, health centres increased from 21 (2005) to 28 (2010), while the number of hospitals also increased from 13 during 2005 to 15 by 2010.
The infant mortality rate (IMR) for children aged below five years also dropped from 110 per 1,000 children during 2005 to five per 1,000 children during 2010.
The mortality rate for children aged above five years improved from 182 per 1,000 children (2005) to 28 per 1,000 children (2010.).
“The government was keen to ensure that more lives were saved through improved health delivery and construction of health facilities, including dispensaries in rural areas where most Tanzanians lived.
Malaria prevalence remains high in many African countries despite massive scaling-up of insecticide treated nets (ITN) and indoor residual spraying (IRS),” he said.