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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Malaria in Tanzania in sharp decline, statistics bureau says 

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- The prevalence of the malaria disease in Tanzania has gone down by almost half in the past three years, a senior official said on Wednesday.

According to the latest research figures on the disease of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the prevalence rate dropped from 14.4 percent in 2015 to 7.3 percent in 2017.

Albina Chuwa, NBS director general revealed this during the formal launch of the 2017 Tanzania Malaria Indicator Survey (2017 TMIS) report as part of the International Malaria Day commemoration held in western Tanzania’s region of Kigoma.

The survey was implemented by NBS and the Chief Government Statistician’s office in Zanzibar, in collaboration with the health ministries of both the Mainland and Zanzibar.

The 2017 TMIS report incorporates assessments of the level of ownership and use of mosquito nets in the country and coverage of intermittent preventive malaria treatments for pregnant women.

It also identifies various treatment practices including the use of specific anti-malarial medications for children aged 6 to 59 months and measures the prevalence of the disease along with anaemia among children of this age group.

Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzania’s Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, cited regions with the highest rates of malaria infections especially among children aged below five years as Kigoma (leading with 24.4 percent), Geita (17.3 percent), Kagera (15.4 percent), and Tabora (14.8 percent).

Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Njombe, Songwe, Dodoma and Songwe regions have the lowest rate of infections with less than one percent each, Mwalimu said.

“As a nation and a society, we should continue to join hands in fighting malaria, especially for the sake of young children and expectant mothers,” said the minister. 

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Tanzania launches distribution of insecticide-treated nets to curb malaria

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- Tanzania on Tuesday launched a countrywide program for distribution of Long-lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) in an effort to eliminate malaria in the east African nation.

Speaking in western Tanzania’s region of Kigoma, at the official launch of the program, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu said that the country is on the verge of eliminating malaria, adding that distributing such nets will help the fight against malaria.

She further said: “Through the program we are launching today, the malaria-vulnerable population of pregnant women and children under one year old will receive a net.”

The minister said that for the last three years, Tanzania has taken a very big step in fight against malaria as malaria new infections has gone down by over 10 percent.

The launch of the distribution of LLINs is among various activities held in the country to commemorate the upcoming World Malaria Day on April 25.

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Tanzania steps up efforts to fight malaria

DAR ES SALAAM, (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Thursday that they have stepped up measures to fight malaria, including distributing 236,420 liters of biological anti-mosquito pesticides across the country.

Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health, told parliament in the capital Dodoma that the anti-malaria pesticides were specifically being used to destroy mosquito larvae.

She told the House that after taking various measures to fight the disease, including the distribution of the anti-malaria pesticides, the malaria prevalence rate has dropped to 7.3 percent in 2017 from 14.8 percent in 2016.

She said the achievements were made following strengthened national health systems, the level of investment in malaria control and a number of other strides taken by the government.

Mwalimu said after the measures taken by the government to fight malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) awarded her ministry with a certificate of recognition.

However, the minister said malaria continued to remain one of the major threats to public health, causing hundreds of deaths annually.

Currently in Tanzania, 90 percent of the population lives in areas that carry a high risk of malaria transmission, according to the National Malaria Control Program.

Mwalimu also presented a catalogue of priorities set by the ministry for the next fiscal year that begins in July to improve health services provision in the country.

The priorities included the strengthening of vaccination services to children where she explained that up to December last year, all of the targeted children had been vaccinated.

           

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