Prevention of cholera a huge  challenge in most of Africa

09Aug 2018
The Guardian
 Prevention of cholera a huge  challenge in most of Africa

CHOLERA, which often leads to the infection of the small intestine, is mostly contracted through drinking of contaminated water and eating of waste products, it is a shame that Africans are still afflicted by such a disease in this day and age.

But with the systemic collapse of critical institutions and basic health facilities in many of the countries across the Continent  today, it is little surprise that many of people in Africa are still dying of the preventable disease common among the poor that has been eliminated in most countries.

It is very sad that for more than five decades, a preventable disease like cholera has been a recurring epidemic in Tanzania and has led to the death of thousands of our people, especially children. While there have been some efforts by the government to deal with the challenge, we have not seen a corresponding commitment from the state governments yet that is where cholera appears to be ravaging citizens the most.

The spread of cholera becomes worse when the environment is not clean; when water system is not treated and when sanitation is not taken seriously. The sad part of it is that in many of our regions, the villagers and rural dwellers are left to rely on streams as the only source of drinking water and there are no provisions for disposing waste. In most cases also, the people even have to rely on stagnant water for washing their clothes and other items. Therefore, since cholera is more prevalent in rural areas, the problem becomes more compounded when and where there are no modern medical facilities to assist in the treatment of the disease.

If you get contaminated with cholera bacteria and you do not receive appropriate treatment within 24 - 48 hours, you can pass on. Dysentery can give you some time to take care of yourself but not cholera, said the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) specialist.

To the extent that the world has moved ahead of the era where cholera kills citizens, Tanzanian leaders at all levels and healthcare officials must sit up to do the needful. It is a shame that a disease like cholera is still ravaging our people. While we commend the leadership of the Ministry of health for the  proactive stance on curative measures, the authorities in the regions must therefore do more in providing adequate clean water for the citizens, especially for those that are in the rural areas.

It is without doubt that cholera is still a threatening epidemic in Tanzania.

The government warned of possible cholera and related waterborne disease outbreaks across the country last year, it raised concerns about the country's capability to eradicate it.

It said 458 cholera cases and six deaths were reported in November last year in six regions. Preventive measures include raising public awareness on food, neighbourhoods and personal hygiene, training community volunteers and health service providers on mitigation methods.

Generally, the sewage system around the city is inadequate and most of the time out of order, which is a potent contributing factor to the cholera epidemic. The drainage system is also unreliable.

Food and fruit vendors also contribute to the spread of the disease due to their poor handling of their businesses from preparatory to selling stages.


   Establishing vibrant learning institutions potential to transform the country



ONE of the strategic components in fostering economic growth and technological progress is investing on human resource development. Skilled professionals engagement in all walks of life has the potential in creating new innovations, hastening technology transfers and creating job opportunities. The secret behind their progress is skilled human resource potential.

To this effect, every year Tanzania allocates a huge portion of its budget for the education, health and agriculture sectors. The government has given due emphasis to human development.

Every year, the country invests on human resource development and graduates new professionals. Establishing vibrant learning institutions has the potential to transform the country and create far reaching impacts on economic development. Hence, the country's higher learning institutions, apart from their key duties, have to give due attention to the transfer of technology and new innovations.

Universities shall be a place where fate-reversing skilled human power are created. Higher learning institutions have to conduct trouble shooting researches in the priority areas. Besides, learning institutions have to nurture the culture of conducting research and easing the country's bottlenecks.

In light of this, Tanzania has placed focal attention on producing skilled human power development and expanding higher learning institutions all over the country. Currently, over 30 public universities have discharged their responsibilities focusing on the teaching learning processes, conducting problem solving researches and community services.

Nowadays, those higher institutions, excluding private higher learning institutions, graduate over hundred thousands annually. Hence, new graduates are expected to spur the county's economic development journey. Without skilled human power, the nation could not speed up its developmental pace. Besides, Tanzania has planned to throw poverty into the dustbin of history, undertake economic transformation and become a middle income country by 2025. It has endorsed conducive legal frameworks, policies and strategies. But, all these lofty development goals could be realized if the country produces enough skilled human power in respective fields of studies. The nation has planned constructing small and mega projects and improving citizens' standard of living. Above and beyond these, the nation currently needs more technology transfer and various expertise to leap to industrial-led economy. To become a competitive country in the global arena, it needs innovators, problem solver citizens, confident individuals and job opportunity creators. It as well needs climate change effect resilient or adaptive technology innovators and task forces that help increase production and productivity. Hence, this year's addition of graduates contribution will have immense importance in implementing the above mentioned objectives.

Teaching institutions have to be equipped with modern teaching tools and other teaching aids. Information communication technology tools have to also be provided along with teaching aids. Moreover, teachers are the most important educational resource and critical determinants of quality education. They must be treated and respected. Teaching must be rendered an attractive career choice and must remain sufficiently attractive, in terms of salaries and conditions of employment, to retain the best teachers in the service. As learning has no an end, teachers have to hone skills and acquire further knowledge through regular and extension programmes continuously. Because they are expected to be conversant with ICT technology ahead of the students.

Quality tools for teaching and learning, appropriate curricula and inclusive teaching and learning materials and resources are significant in producing skilled professionals. The capacity and accessibility of modern technology nowadays is playing a great role in supporting the teaching and learning process.

Besides, quality environments for teaching and learning such as supportive tools, comfortable, safe and secure environment and appropriate facilities are so essential to encourage students' learning and to enable teachers to teach effectively.



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