US strengthens Tanzania Anti-Malaria laboratory capacity

DAR ES SALAAM: THE US through its Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US President’s Malaria Initiative, delivered equipment at the Muhimbili College of Health and Allied Sciences.

The equipment is expected to strengthen the capacity for malaria laboratory technologists in Tanzania to effectively diagnose the disease parasites.

Valued at 488,000 US dollars, equivalent to more than 1bn/-, the equipment will be transferred to the Ministry of Health Colleges of Health and Allied Sciences for use in six regions, namely Mbeya, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mara, and Singida.

According to a press statement availed to the media by the US embassy, investments through the President’s Malaria Initiative, or PMI, are directly supporting and building upon those made by the government of Tanzania to cover proven interventions such as malaria diagnosis and treatment, integrated malaria vector control; surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, social behavior change and operations research.

“The 133 microscopes and other laboratory items donated today will enable the National Malaria Control Program to significantly strengthen its laboratory testing capacity,” said USAID/Tanzania Health Office Director, Anne Murphy.

She said the laboratory will now help ensure appropriate treatment, which in turn will save lives and prevent complications.

The microscopes handed over will support the capacity development of the laboratory technician to correctly diagnose malaria, by confirming the presence of parasites so that healthcare professionals can swiftly commence treatment, saving lives and preventing complications.

In addition, some of the microscopes will be used to conduct studies to measure the efficacy of the anti-malarial drugs used to treat malaria.

Early detection of drug resistance is vital to be able to adjust treatment strategies promptly and prevent widespread resistance, ensuring that effective antimalarial drugs remain available to the population.

The US commended the government of Tanzania and the Ministry of Health for tireless efforts that led to the dramatic decline of malaria prevalence in Tanzania from over 14 percent in 2015 to just 8 percent in 2022.

“The US government is proud to have played a part in this remarkable achievement,” said Ms Murphy.

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