The regional commissioners’ briefing meeting on Dengue Fever prevention and control

A cross-section of Regional Commissioners during the briefing meeting A cross-section of Regional Commissioners during the briefing meeting

On 7th June 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PMORALG) held a meeting gathering Regional Commissioners (RCs) from the 27 regions to brief them on Dengue Fever prevention and control. The half-day meeting officiated by the Hon. Minister for PMORALG, Ms. Hawa Ghasia (MP) was in the effort to strengthen the national response to the on-going dengue fever outbreak in the country, officially declared on 24th April 2014. Others present at the meeting included: the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Donan Mmbando; key technical officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and PMORALG; the World Health Organization Representative, Dr. Rufaro Chatora; WCO staff and members of the media.

In her welcome remarks, the Hon. Minister for PMORALG, called for all regions to plan and involve key stakeholders in the control and prevention of the Dengue Fever outbreak in their regions. Special emphasis was placed on the need to strengthen the current environmental sanitation efforts and disposal of solid wastes in all regions.

Remarks by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Donan Mmbando highlighted the measures undertaken by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to control the ongoing outbreak including: establishing a multi-disciplinary Dengue Task Force to plan, implement, review progress and monitor the evolution of the epidemic; enhancing surveillance and reporting; strengthening case management in the municipal hospitals; dissemination of health messages through media channels: TV and radio; provision of regular press releases; spraying of insecticides to reduce adult mosquito population in government institutions and schools and larviciding in selected areas of the city. He also informed the meeting on the ongoing epidemiological and entomological study under the collaboration of National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), WHO and the institutions of 'Italian Cooperation' in Dar es Salaam. He concluded by urging the Regional Commissioners to support on-going prevention and control activities in their regions including community sensitization through their local media channels.

Remarks were followed by presentations from the MOHSW experts on the epidemiology of Dengue Fever and Integrated Vector Control Management as the recommended approach to the control of Dengue Fever. Thereafter, discussions by the Regional Commissioners commended the leadership demonstrated by His Excellency, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania in supporting the national response to the outbreak. The Regional Commissioners agreed on the need to closely monitor and strengthen efforts to ensure environmental sanitation; to participate in raising public awareness through their local media channels and to develop regional contingency plans for the outbreak response activities.

WHO Country Office has been supporting the national response to the Dengue Fever Outbreak in the country through:

  • Provision of 350 RDT Kits
  • Provision of 192 ELISA Kits
  • Technical support to the Dengue Task Force:
    • Participating in the weekly Dengue Task Force meetings
    • Sharing of daily Situation Reports with the WHO Regional Office and IST-ESA
    • Sharing of WHO Dengue fact sheet and guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control
    • Sharing information with the media
  • In collaboration with Regional Office advised on coordination structures, contingency plans, case management, Dengue outbreak vector control and IHR requirements on daily sharing of detailed information including availability of line list.