KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC) Marco Gaguti has appealed to leaders and residents in the region to take intensive efforts in the fight against Malaria. He said in spite of recent achievements with the prevalence level amongst children significantly dropping from 41 per cent during 2016/17 to 15.4 per cent in 2017/18, there is need to scale up malaria control and continue focused intervention efforts.
Mr Gaguti made the call as the nation commemorates World Malaria Day. "More efforts were urgently needed to ensure that the disease is completely eliminated to ensure that the region is malaria free," he said, adding that the government is keen to ensure that more lives were saved through improved health delivery and construction of health facilities, including dispensaries in rural areas where most Tanzanians lived.
Efforts include indoor residual spraying (IRS), use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and provision of measles vaccinations and polio jabs to infants. Malaria is among the major worldwide health problems.
In Tanzania, over 80 per cent of malaria cases are linked to infection with Plasmodium Falciparum. The species is most dangerous to pregnant women as it typically invades large numbers of erythrocytes, causing severe anaemia, which is crucial in pregnancy. In most malaria-affected countries, sleeping under ITN is the most common and most effective way to prevent infection.
In 2016, an estimated 54 per cent of people in Sub- Saharan Africa slept under the ITNs compared to 30 per cent in 2010.