Disease Outbreak News

The Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania joined by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare and WR a.i. to sparkle Malaria control campaign at the 2nd World Malaria Day commemorations

Introduction

Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Pinda, greeting the Mtwara community during WMD 2009.

Tanzania joined other WHO Member States to commemorate second World Malaria Day on 25th April 2009. The occasion was commemorated at national level in Mtwara. The Guest of Honour for this activity was Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Pinda, the Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania. The activity which was hosted by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare was also attended by two other cabinet Ministers, six Members of Parliament for Mtwara Region, District Commissioners from the region, Ministry of Health Officials, Regional officials, WHO and other Development Partners for Health (DPG), Representatives from neighbouring Region, Members of the Media as well as the Mtwara community.

This activity was graced by the participation of the famous Musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who is also the African Ambassador for Malaria and a local famous Musician Lady JD.

Launching the distribution of LLIN

Demonstration on the use of LLIN for any type of bed.

The guest of honour distributed the long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) to five children who were under the age of five years and two disabled children. This was used as symbolic launching of the under five catch up campaign (U5CC) for Mtwara and Lindi regions. The campaign intends to distribute free LLIN to all children under the age of five years in the country by early 2010.


The message from Guest of Honour

The guest of honour Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Pinda, the Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania in his speech highlighted on the burden of malaria in the country and congratulated the ministry of health and social welfare for its efforts towards achieving the malaria free Tanzania by 2015.

He said Tanzania is losing 3.4% of GDP each year due to malaria. He urged local governments to start implementing the use of the Public Health Act 2009 to make sure every member of the community makes its environment free of mosquito breeding habitats and as a measure to control malaria. He further advised all district councils in the country to budget for simple and cheap tricycles ambulances which will be allocated in the health centers /dispensaries in the villages. These simple ambulances will help to rush the needy and sick people to the hospital in time. The Prime Minister further insisted on strict measures in ensuring that donor funds are appropriately utilized. He finished his speech by reminding the society on existence of HIV/AIDS, apart from malaria and that every effort should be made to control the disease..

The Minister of health and social welfare message

The Minister of health, Prof. David Homely Mwakyusa in his remarks highlighted the burden of malaria in the country and the efforts being taken by the government to have Tanzania free of malaria by 2015. He said that malaria is still the leading cause of mortality in the country where approximately 100,000 people die due to malaria each year majority being children under the age of five years. He mentioned the following as strategies to contain malaria: use of Long Lasting Insecticide Impregnated Nets (LLIN) for every member of the house hold, use Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) especially in areas prone to malaria epidemics, prompt diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases. He further asked the community to use environmental management/manipulation to control mosquitoes.

WHO Remarks

Malaria testing and treatment services offered at the venue for the WMD 2009.

Dr. Jean Baptiste Tapko, WR a.i. was given the opportunity to deliver the WHO Regional Director’s message on Malaria Day. Prior to delivery of the RD’s message Dr. Tapko thanked the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for inviting WHO to the ceremony and for availing the opportunity to share the WHO message on World Malaria Day 2009.

The message was very well received and MC reiterated some concrete points after Dr. Tapko had finished requesting people to implement what WHO has advised. The WR a.i. finished his speech by congratulating the government for abiding to the WHO recommendations in the control of malaria. He also commended Partners for the support given to the country in the area of Malaria control.

Message from the famous African Musician Yvonne Chakachaka

Yvonne Chakachaka performing at the venue for World Malaria Day after she has given her remarks for the occasion.

The Famous South African Musician together with a Tanzanian Musician Lady JD performed on stage giving people who participated in the event a sensational music which was later followed by a special song on malaria from Yvonne Chakachaka herself. In her song, she argues the community to come together to fight malaria. She says “it is pathetic to see children and pregnant women dying due to malaria helplessly”. She strongly repeated her words in her message and promised to come to Mtwara after nine months and see impact of malaria control efforts in the region.


Procession

Mtwara community including Primary and Secondary School students, Medical Training students, different institutions and Health Workers marched to mark the WMD and the procession was received by the Guest of Honour at the Mashujaa grounds.

Exhibitions

An exhibition was staged in commemorating the malaria day at Maashujaa ground in Mtwara. The exhibitions aimed at educating the community to control malaria and other diseases including HIV/AIDS. Several NGOs collaborating with the ministry of health in the control of malaria showed the community what they are doing to control malaria in the country.

These included; WORLD VISION, COMMIT, PSI, MEDA as well as the LLIN manufacture A-Z.

Malaria treatment Services

Apart from exhibition, there were also free consultation, malaria diagnosis and treatment at the grounds. The service attracted a big number of people especially mothers and children who came for the commemoration and as well utilized the services.

Social Mobilization

Demonstration on the use of LLIN for any type of bed.

Community mobilization for people to participate in World Malaria Day activities was conducted through a number of channels. These included:

  •  Invitation of the Prime Minister as the Guest of Honour
  •  Staging of exhibitions and provision of health services at the venue.
  •  Announcements in the Mtwara local radio.
  •  Involvement of Yvonne Chakachaka and Lady JD (a.k.a.Judith Wambura).
  •  Road show which included traditional dances and other entertainments

Media involvement

The Media was highly involved throughout the occasion and there was a good coverage of the commemorations at national level by both the electronic (radio and TV) and print media.