April 26, 2012

Schools to get free mosquito nets

A new response to combat malaria aiming at covering at least 80 per cent of the population is in the pipeline, targeting schools across the country. Addressing a rally during the commemoration of World Malaria Day in Dar es Salaam, Vice-President Dr Mohamed Ghalib Bilal said the strategy dubbed Keep up Strategy, School Net Programme would ensure schools get treated mosquito nets. Dr Bilal said the distribution of treated mosquito nets to expectant mothers and children under the age of one year would also be sustained through the 'Hati Punguzo' (Discount Certificate) arrangement.

According to the Vice-President the application of treated nets have been helpful, adding that statistics show that the use of nets among under five years has increased from 10 per cent in 2001 to 64 per cent in 2010."Apart from using mosquito nets, we encourage people to observe hygienic practices in their homes and always keep the environment clean. "I call upon local government leaders to supervise all campaigns aiming at eliminating mosquitoes," he stressed. Bilal also underscored the government commitment in collaboration with development partners, including the Global Fund and the US President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) to make sure enough resources are made available for a sustained war against the pandemic.

Malaria prevention and treatment, the country's monitoring and evaluation systems, investments in malaria researches and sensitization and education campaigns, are some of the areas the Vice-President said would continue to be given special attention. But he also warned people who took advantage of the free mosquito nets and called for proper use of the nets. He commended the residual indoor spraying exercise in Kagera, Mwanza and Mara regions, saying it has reduced the incidence of the pandemic from 41 per cent in 2007 to 10 per cent in 2012.

The Vice-President also launched the report on 'Malaria Progress and Impact on Tanzania Mainland' which shows progress that has been recorded as well as resources spent and actual needs in sustaining the campaigns. The Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Haji Mponda, said malaria was still the leading killer disease. He stated that his ministry would strengthen monitoring and evaluation programmes as indicated in the five years 2008-2013 malaria control strategic plan. (Tanzania Daily News)

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