The Tanzanian government on Friday thanked China for its support in fighting malaria in the country’s southern district of Rufiji in the Coast region.
A malaria control cooperative project implemented between 2015 and 2021 has seen a marked malaria burden reduction from more than 30 percent to around 3 percent, officials told a one-day conference held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial hub.
“The Chinese success story in fighting the disease will continue to help our country and other countries in the African continent to control and ultimately eliminate malaria,” said Catherine Joachim, head of programs in the Ministry of Health.
Joachim said Tanzania was the first in Africa to pilot this historic initiative for malaria control, adding that she believed this joint China-Tanzania Demonstration Project on Malaria Control would be one of the innovative approaches to tackling malaria in many African countries.
Samwel Lazaro, acting program manager for the Tanzania National Malaria Control Program, recommended the scaling up of the project in other areas to reduce the malaria burden.
Suo Peng, minister counselor of the Chinese embassy in Tanzania, said as a true friend and good partner of Tanzania, China has carried out effective malaria cooperation with Tanzania for a long time.
“China has assisted Tanzania in building a malaria prevention and control center, donated several batches of anti-malaria medicines and materials, and provided training to share our experience,” said Suo.
He said global malaria prevention and control required the active cooperation and joint response of the international community, adding that China’s success in the anti-malaria fight proved to the world that a malaria-free future can be expected.
Viviane Hasselmann, head of health domain in the embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania, commended the government of Tanzania for continuing to take decisive measures to combat malaria.
Hasselmann said that compared with the 2015 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey, the prevalence of malaria in children aged 6 to 59 months decreased from 14 percent to 8 percent in 2021. “This is something to be proud of and also shows the value of the partnerships that have been fostered to tackle the disease.”
Hasselmann said Switzerland was looking forward to seeing if and how it will be possible, by leveraging Swiss, Chinese and Tanzanian expertise to jointly support the Tanzanian national malaria elimination priorities as outlined in the National Malaria Strategic Plan.
The project was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the Tanzania National Malaria Control Program, the Ifakara Health Institute, the World Health Organization Country Office in Tanzania, and the National Institute for Parasitic Disease under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Enditem