Let’s intensify the war against malaria

Let’s intensify the war against malaria

According to the region’s Medical Officer, Dr Alex Mwita, the campaign against the killer disease also involves Indoor Residual Spraying to destroy mosquitoes and their breeding grounds. Reinforcement of the campaign follows a recent report published by the Tanzania HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey, which shows that Kagera has high malaria incidence, between 40-45 per cent, when compared with other regions like Lindi, Mtwara and Mwanza whose average ranges between 31 and 34 per cent.  

In the 2010 survey, the region recorded over 200 deaths resulting from malaria while over 17,000 patients were admitted to various hospitals.  The need to involve other regions in a similar campaign comes from a quick assessment of the national picture in as far as the disease is concerned.

Available data estimate that between 16 and 18 million cases of malaria occur each year, resulting in more than 100,000 deaths.  Also, malaria accounts for some 30 per cent of the national disease burden, 35 per cent of hospital admissions and 37 per cent of deaths for children under five. It is also responsible for 25 per cent of maternal deaths among expectant mothers.

Apart from loss of lives, malaria also consumes huge resources as scientists struggle to develop effective drugs for treatment and prevention. What is more worrying is that  even after so many years of research and advocacy, people  still contract this life threatening ailment on a daily basis.Now it seems the battle front should be widened to involve controlling malaria by destroying all possible mosquito breeding places.

The Indoor Residual Spraying should be considered as ideal and viable option.   The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) which is conducting a media campaign on the use of mosquito treated nets and Mseto malaria treatment can wage a fully fledged campaign to eradicate the disease through keeping the environment clean.  

With the upcoming environmental police unit, which would be a stakeholder in curbing environmental hazards, we hope the “eliminating malaria campaign’’ would fit into the strategy. 

Author: EDITOR

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