1 December 2012

Tanzania: Private Firms Join Hands Against Malaria

THE war against malaria has attained another impressive level as local private business companies join hands with the parastatal organizations and the sports sector to intensify the fight.

Recent medical reports indicated that malaria infections decreased from 18 per cent in 2007/2008 to 10 per cent in 2011/2012.

Speaking at the launching of Malaria safe Companies in Dar es Salaam, the Prime Minister Mr Mizengo Pinda cited the successful story of Zanzibar where malaria infections have gone down now to 0.2 per cent from 0.7 per cent recorded in 2007/08.

Malaria Safe Companies is a joint project undertaken by both public and private business companies in collaboration with the sports sector to revive community awareness in the fights against spread of malaria. "Even if we have recorded positive developments in the fight against malaria still additional efforts are necessary especially in the distribution of mosquito nets.

People should also be assisted to adopt the culture of checking their health status instead of waiting until they fall sick," PM Pinda said. He encouraged private companies and other stakeholders to share part of their income in support of the fight against malaria, the disease which has killed a number of people in the world especially in Africa.

Statistics from various health dispensing centres indicate that between 10 and 12 million people contract malaria each year and out of the number, between 10,000 and 30,000 malaria victims die of the ailment annually.

The Director of Voices Malaria Project, Claudia Vondrasek said involvement of the private sector in the project was of great significance because workers need to remain healthy and productive, adding even in sports people need to be in good health.

She noted that malaria which can be prevented and treated had in some aspects hindered development in the country. "Malaria is the single most important health problem in the country and may be in the continent as well. Between 30-40 per cent of in-patient and outpatient visits are due to malaria. That is unacceptable and we know we can escape the disease," she said.

For his part, The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) President, Leodgar Tenga said, the Confederation of African Football has made Malaria one of their social causes for the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations that through involving sport sector malaria can be defeated. He said throughout the tournament early next year, the spirit of unity in the fight against malaria will be vivid.

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