Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

7 January 2013

Tanzania: Kagera Children to Be Vaccinated

Bukoba — A TOTAL of 109,407 children aged below five in Kagera Region will be vaccinated against Rotavirus diarrhoea and Pneumonia, Acting Kagera Regional Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Salum Sufian has disclosed.

He noted that a total of 29,492 will be vaccinated in Karagwe district, 22,677 in Muleba district while 15,683 children will get PCV 13 jabs in Ngara district. Other districts with respective number in brackets include Bukoba Rural (13,696), Biharamulo (12,677), Misenyi (8,915) and Bukoba Municipality (6,131).

According to Dr Sufian, between 30 and 50 per cent of preventable diseases recorded during 2008 were due to diarrhoea. The disease is contracted mostly by children aged less than five by Rotavirus through contaminated water and food.

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. Dr Sufian further said a total of 272 of the children died of severe malaria while 30 others died of uncomplicated malaria.

Karagwe District recorded the highest number with 85 deaths out of 5,091 children who were admitted as in-patients. Biharamulo District recorded 53 deaths out of 608 under five children, Misenyi district recorded 33 deaths out of 2,853 under five inpatients while Bukoba Municipality recorded 56 deaths out of 2,853 children who were admitted.

Chato District recorded 51 deaths out of 495 children aged below five years who were admitted while Bukoba Rural recorded 24 deaths out of 3,533 children who were admitted. A total of 242 out-patients (OPD) aged above five out of 17,506 patients also died due to malaria.

Malaria is still a leading killer disease claiming almost 700,000 lives in Africa annually. Out of the number, 595,000 of them are young children. At any given time, Africa has 196 million malaria patients in hospitals, also losing almost 1.2 billion US dollars on purchases of anti-malaria drugs, mosquito nets and treatment of patients.

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