Local Data Underpins Tanzania’s Next Malaria Plan
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Tanzania’s health ministry is set to revisit the way it goes about collecting data to control malaria following new insights into the disease.
The ministry is preparing to sign a strategic plan that will focus more on data collection at village and district level to intensify the national fight against malaria. This revision is needed because changing temperatures and growing travel habits among Tanzania’s people are spreading malaria-bearing mosquitoes, say policymakers.
In addition, recent research revealedthat existing anti-malaria methods in Tanzania, such as mosquito net distribution, do not always reach the people most in need because of a lack of knowledge about local disease hotspots.
In Tanzania, annual deaths from malaria are estimated at around 60,000, with 80 per cent of these children under five. The ministry’s new plan is meant to get the country on the path to malaria eradication, says Renata Mandike, the deputy director of Tanzania’s National Malaria Control Programme.
“Change of climate together with extensive movement of people complicated the fight as mosquitoes are now found in places previously free of malaria infection,” Mandike says. “The complexity of the disease can even be noticed within a small geographical area like a village where one part might be comparatively more affected than the other.”
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