Tanzania reaffirms commitment to scale up fight against malaria

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Malaria
Malaria
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Tanzanian Vice-President Philip Mpango on Thursday reiterated the country’s commitment in scaling up malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) responses.

Mpango called for partnership and heightened stakeholders’ collaboration to increase investment in preventive measures, diagnostic testing and treatment of malaria and the NTDs, said a statement from the Vice-President’s Office on Friday.

In an address to the malaria and NTDs summit in the Rwandan capital Kigali on behalf of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Mpango also called for heightened malaria surveillance as well as harnessing innovation and expanding research.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic frustrated efforts aimed at fighting malaria and NTDs after the pandemic placed an extra burden on health systems in particular in countries with fragile health systems like Tanzania.

However, he said, Tanzania was encouraged in 2021 when the World Health Organization endorsed a malaria vaccine, Mosquirix, which has proved to significantly reduce malaria in young children.

Mpango said Tanzania has experienced a marked reduction of malaria prevalence to hypo-endemicity level.

He said among the major interventions were indoor residual spraying, real time monitoring by using smartphones, and strengthening malaria diagnostics.

Tanzania is also currently implementing a five-year National Malaria Strategic Plan (2021-2025) aimed at reducing average malaria prevalence to less than 3.5 percent in 2025 from 7.5 percent in 2017, and eventually eliminating the disease by 2030, said Mpango.

Besides malaria, NTDs constitute a significant public health challenge in Tanzania with over 29 million people requiring treatment for at least one NTD, said Mpango.

To address this challenge, Tanzania is currently implementing a five-year strategic master plan for the NTDs control program (2022-2026) aimed at sustaining the gains made to control and eliminate NTDs and scale up disease monitoring and surveillance, he said. Enditem

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