Speaking during the distribution of the mosquito nets, municipal communication officer Albano Midelo said the council had also distributed 450 mosquito nets to the elderly, adding that they planned to distribute 1000 nets to the elderly in Songea district.
Midelo said the district was determined to reduce malaria cases, adding that it had received 1000 litres of biolarvicide from the central government to spray on mosquito larvae. The spraying exercise, he said, was expected to begin soon.
The average malaria infection rate in Songea municipality had dropped to 2.5 per cent compared to more than 3 per cent in previous years.
“We are implementing a number of projects in relation to the fight against malaria. We are distributing mosquito nets to our people, but we are also spraying mosquito larvae,” said Midelo, noting that the distribution of nets was done through pupils in order to reach many families.
According to Midelo, the municipal council was also conducting training and educational programmes through community radios, adding that the residents were being urged to seek proper medical attention from hospital whenever they fell sick and not to rush to use anti-malaria drugs.
“There are some people who take anti-malaria malaria drugs without undertaking medical check-up. We discourage this and urge them to make regular malaria check-up,” he added.
Over 93 per cent of the Tanzania mainland population lives in areas where malaria is endemic. There is great variation in the risk of malaria transmission and prevalence ranging from 1 to 33 per cent, with an average of about 10 per cent.
The levels of transmission are high in Lake Zone regions, coastal regions and southern lowlands.