Bukoba — MATERNAL deaths in Kagera Region have dropped from 194 per 100,000 live births to 88 per 100,000 births during 2010, the Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Fabian Massawe, has said.
He also said that infant mortality rate (IMR) for children aged below five years also dropped from 110 per 1,000 children during 2005 to five per 1,000 children during 2010. The mortality rate for children aged above five years improved from 182 per 1,000 children (2005) to 28 per 1,000 children (2010.).
He attributed the success to improved health delivery services and construction of more dispensaries and health centres. According to Mr Massawe, the number of dispensaries increased from 206 during 2005 to 239 by 2010, Health Centres increased from 21 (2005) to 28 (2010) while the number of hospitals also increased from 13 during 2005 to 15 by 2010.
"The government is keen to ensure that more lives are saved through improved health delivery and construction of health facilities including dispensaries in rural areas where most Tanzanians live," he said.
He further said a total of 560,484 Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) were distributed to people in efforts to control malaria, the leading killer disease in the country. The efforts include Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) and to provide measles vaccinations and polio jabs to infants.
Data indicates that a total of 17,506 patients were admitted at various health institutions in Kagera Region during 2010 due to malaria, resulting in 242 deaths. Out of the number, 80 per cent were children under five and pregnant women.
According to the 2008/09 Tanzania HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey (THMIS), Kagera Region has malaria prevalence of between 42- 45 per cent. Lindi Region has 35 per cent, Mtwara Region has 34 per cent, Mwanza Region has 31 per cent while Mara Region has 30 per cent.
A total of 302 children aged under five who were admitted (IDP) to various hospitals and health centres in Kagera Region during 2010 died due to Malaria out of 17,725 children admitted to those hospitals. A total of 272 of the children died of severe malaria (complicated) while 30 others died of uncomplicated malaria.
Tanzania has reduced deaths of children aged below five years from 147 for each 1,000 children to 81 by 2010. Mr Massawe said the government was keen to reduce the number of deaths of young children and pregnant mothers by year 2015.
He further said that data indicate that a total of 122 children out of 1,000 in Sub-Saharan Africa region die each year during birth. Malaria is still a leading killer disease claiming almost 700,000 lives in Africa annually. Out of the number, 595,000 of them were young children. With just a few years remaining before the deadline set by the World Health