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#MALARIADAY2022: Health Minister explains how malaria fight can benefit from national census statistics

April 25, 2022 8:00 – 14:30 EAT
#MALARIADAY2022: Health Minister explains how malaria fight can benefit from national census statistics
The Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu gives remarks at the World Malaria Day event held at the national level in Dodoma on April 25 2022. Among the diginitaries listening on the high table is the Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Didier Chassot (5th from left). PHOTO | IFAKARA/Coms

The Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu has underlined the importance of national census statistics in the fight against malaria. Addressing the World Malaria Day 2022 gathering held at the national level at Chinangali Park in Dodoma on April 25, she lauded this year’s theme for the Day coined by the host of the event - the Malaria Control Program (NMCP) - which focused on the upcoming national census scheduled to take place in August this year.

She explained that census results provide the basis for fighting against malaria due to the fact that this theme "aims to influence malaria treatment services by focusing on the statistics derived from various indicators from the Tanzania 2022 census - including providing services in relation to the population, the needs of groups of people at the right time."

In her speech, Mwalimu also highlighted the state of malaria in Tanzania, the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s mission and efforts in the fight against malaria and commended all stakeholders for their input in malaria control. She urged Tanzanians to continue prioritizing efforts in the fight against malaria.

"Each one of us must take preventive measures including keeping our surroundings clean to remove mosquito breeding grounds," she said, urging people to get tested once they show symptoms of malaria reminding, "not every fever is malaria."

Message from WHO country office
Meanwhile, special remarks were delivered by a WHO representative on behalf of Dr. Tigest Ketsela, the WHO representative to Tanzania. In the remarks, the WHO commended the Tanzania government through the MoH for its "innovative efforts and collective measures it has been applying in the local communities in fighting against malaria."

Swiss envoy’s remarks
In his remarks, Dr. Didier Chassot, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Tanzania said, "It is important to celebrate the remarkable progress Tanzania has made in malaria control over the past 20 years. Cutting malaria caused deaths by more than 60% over the past 5 years is a remarkable achievement."

He also passed on his congratulations to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for "continuing to lead the government in taking serious measures to combat malaria with a comprehensive approach by including all relevant sectors and engaging all stakeholders across the country."

Message from USAID/Tanzania
The Director of Health from the USAID in Tanzania, also spoke at the event on behalf of the US president's malaria intiative (PMI) which is carried out by the USAID and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She spoke of the "shared goal to end malaria" which had been ongoing for almost 16 years. The collaboration has yield successful results of reaching malaria prevalence of 7%.

"I am very proud that PMI has contributed to the achievement of Tanzania's efforts in reducing malaria pervelances by 50%. Many children are alive because of these efforts in Tanzania and 23 other countries in Africa where PMI operates," she added.

Comments from PO-RALG
Representing the State Ministry in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments – PORALG), the Deputy Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr. Grace Maghembe highlighted the ministry’s contribution to end malaria saying, "Over 90% of our health centres are currently providing malaria testing services including educating local communities on how to protect their families from malaria which has led to fewer death cases within communities."

Additionally, as instructed by Mwalimu, she pledged that "PO-RALG in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders will implement strategies to control malaria, particularly in those areas of high malaria cases, as per MoH guidelines."

About World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day is an international observance commemorated every year on April 25 and recognizes global efforts to control malaria.

The theme of World Malaria Day 2022 is "Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives" with the WHO calling for investments and innovation that bring new vector control approaches, diagnostics, antimalarial medicines and other tools to speed the pace of progress against malaria.