Tanzania, United States unite to combat antimicrobial resistance, animal-transmitted diseases

Dar es Salaam: Tanzania and the United States governments have jointly launched the “HolelaHolela Itakukosti” (Recklessness Will Cost You) campaign, which will be implemented by Johns
Hopkins’ Center for Communication Programs under the USAID Breakthrough Action project.

This initiative focuses on antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be passed from animals to humans).

Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Godwin Mollel speaks during the launch of the “Holela-Holela Itakukosti” (translating to recklessness is costly) campaign at an event held in Dar es Salaam today. Coordinated by USAID in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office – One Health Section, and the Ministries of Health, Livestock, and Fisheries, Union and Environment. This campaign aims to raise awareness and combat the growing issues of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and priority zoonotic diseases (PZDs) in Tanzania. It is a multimedia social and behavior change (SBC) initiative targeting behaviors that contribute to AMR and PZDs, involving sectors across human health, animal health, and the environment, and emphasizes a collaborative approach to addressing these critical health challenges.

It highlights the need for actions to prevent antimicrobial resistance and the spread of zoonotic diseases and works at the local level to develop community awareness and preventive action.

Certain common behaviors and limited medical and scientific understanding among communities in Tanzania leaves the country vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious diseases.

This new multimedia campaign will bridge these knowledge gaps and offer examples of what people can do to reduce the chances of spreading disease or getting sick.

“By raising awareness and fostering behavior change, we can mitigate the threats posed by antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases,” said Dr Godwin  Mollel, the Deputy Minister of Health.

Dr Mollel represented the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Zoonotic diseases spread between animals and humans and are problematic because many cause outbreaks and pandemics.

It is important to focus on identifying, managing, and ultimately stopping these diseases to keep people and animals healthy and to avoid economic and societal problems.

The ‘Holela-Holela Itakukosti’ campaign is one example of how USAID works with
communities to improve and maintain their total health and wellbeing.

“The United States Government remains steadfast in our commitment to building healthy communities and moving from awareness to action, and we encourage everyone to support this campaign,” said Alexander Klaits, the Acting Mission Director for USAID Tanzania.“Together, let us move forward to protect the health and well-being of all Tanzanians.”

The ‘Holela-Holela Itakukosti’ campaign builds on the 60-year partnership between the people of the United States and Tanzania.

As Tanzania’s largest bilateral donor, the U.S. has contributed more than $7.5 billion in assistance, not loans with repayment requirements, in the last 20 years to strengthen security, boost economic growth, expand democratic participation, and improve health, education, and nutrition for ordinary Tanzanians.

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