Malaria Day: US set on mosquito nets initiative

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 08:05 AM Apr 26 2024
Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, the Health minister for Zanzibar
Photo: Guardian Reporter
Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, the Health minister for Zanzibar

THE US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) jointly marked World Malaria Day with Zanzibar authorities here yesterday, setting out a wide-reaching mosquito nets distribution drive across Zanzibar.

Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, the Health minister for Zanzibar, said at the ceremony that the 2022 Tanzania Malaria Indicator Survey shows that Zanzibar had a malaria rate of less than one percent for more than a decade.

This achievement relates to the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) conducted in Zanzibar since it was started in 2005, while malaria numbers have been on a rising tendency lately, he said

Describing the rising number of cases as unacceptable in Zanzibar, he urged officials in those areas to take measures to control malaria cases by wide ranging involvement.

World Malaria Day commemoration witnessed the launch of the insecticide-treated net (ITN) mass replacement initiative under the aegis of a comfortable sleep campaign.

Upwards of 782,000 nets will be distributed across 314 wards in Unguja and Pemba, in the wake of the government’s launching the End Malaria Council, seeking to bolster malaria elimination efforts by canvassing for more resources.

USAID (T) mission director Craig Hart praised the United States government for joining with the Zanzibar government in launching the mass nets replacement.

It targets all sections of Zanzibar society, seeking to ensure their proper use, he said, expecting that the campaign will move communities from awareness to real action.

This mass replacement campaign represents an innovative and comprehensive approach to malaria elimination. It will use an electronic system to track the quantities of nets, registration of households, and net issuance.

It will use SMS to inform households to collect their nets and to distribute messages on net use and care, as part of the global PMI drive.

Implemented by USAID and CDC, PMI was rolled out in 2006, investing more than $747m, the director noted, underlining that the US authorities expect to work with the government and civil society organisations to eliminate malaria and improve the health and well-being of the people.