Zanzibar — THE government and public have been challenged to spare no efforts in ensuring that the achievement recorded thus far in combating malaria in the Isles is maintained.
Zanzibar First Vice President, Mr Seifa Sharif Hamad, said yesterday that Zanzibar has been a success story in the fight against malaria.
He said the progress in combating malaria in Zanzibar has been recognized globally, and Zanzibar was now a model to many countries in the fight against the disease.
"We should make sure that we uphold and aim at complete eradication. It has not been easy to keep malaria at bay," said Mr Hamad when he visited Zanzibar Malaria Control Programme (ZMCP) offices at Mwanakwerekwe.
"I pray that we would not reverse to the days when malaria was commonplace," Mr Hamad stressed as he thanked development partners for supporting the initiatives. He also commended the Zanzibar Ministry of Health for improved proper storage of medicines and health facilities.
However, he also challenged the different departments under the ministry to work together and make sure that fake products including medicines, food stuffs and cosmetics are prevented from entering the Isles.
Mr Mwinyi Msellem from the ZMCP said that Zanzibar has managed to reduce prevalence of malaria from 45 per cent in 2001 to less than 1 per cent this year. Mr Msellem attributed the success to distribution of treated mosquito nets and increased proper use of indoor residual spray, improved diagnosis and use of acceptable therapy as well as improved monitoring and surveillance.
He, however, cautioned that sustaining the achievement remains a huge challenge to both Zanzibaris and the government at a time when development partners have started withdrawing support for the campaign.