‘Malaria rise in Zanzibar linked to improper mosquito nets use’

11Jul 2020
Correspondent
Zanzibar
The Guardian
‘Malaria rise in Zanzibar linked to improper mosquito nets use’

​​​​​​​THE increase in malaria cases in Zanzibar has been linked to improper use of mosquito nets by the residents which currently stand at 59 per cent only.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, Zanzibar’s malaria evaluation officer, Mohammed Haji Ali said that most of the residents do not know how to properly use the mosquito nets.

He said that a total of 8,869 Isle residents tested positive for malaria from January to June this year. He said that out of the number 5,500 were reported between January and March 2020 while 3369 others were reported from April to June this year.

According to Ali, a total of 3,635 people suffered from the disease in the Indian Archipelago in between October and December 2019,

The official highlighted that the increase in malaria cases was due to increased malaria breeds caused by recent rains that hit the Isles.

“We are now educating people on proper use of mosquito nets. Effective use of the mosquito nets would bring down the number of malaria cases,” said the official noting the government has already started putting in place measures to protect citizens from being affected further.

He named the strategies that have been put in place to protect the citizens from the disease as the distribution of mosquito nets to residents in the most affected areas as well as educating citizens on the importance of using the nets properly.

Other strategies include tracing of patients to ensure the continue using the mosquito nets after being treated. Authorities have also directed hospitals and health centres in Zanzibar to present reports on recorded malaria cases after every certain period.

Getting reports from hospitals and health centres would enable the government to plan accordingly, he noted.

Tanzania has made significant gains in the fight against malaria, with prevalence decreasing by half from 14.4 per cent recorded in 2016 to 7.3 in 2018, survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) according  to the 2017 Tanzania Malaria Indicator Survey.

The report further indicated that new infections for under-five children have dropped to 7.3 per cent.

The 2017 Tanzania Malaria Indicator Survey (TMIS) names the councils with high malaria prevalence and their percentage in brackets as Kakonko (30.8), Kasulu DC (27.6), Kibondo DC (25.4), Kigoma DC (25.1), Buhigwe (24), Geita DC (22.4), Nanyamba TC (19.5), Muleba DC (19.4) and Mtwara DC (19.1).

The survey also named the 14 councils with malaria prevalence of less than 0.1 per cent as Mbulu TC, Mbulu DC, Hanang, Siha, Hai, Moshi MC and Mwanga DC. Others are Kondoa TC, Meru DC, Arusha, Arusha DC, Moduli, Ngorongoro DC and Rombo DC.

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