Minister Juma Duni Haji

Zanzibar Minister of Health Mr Juma Duni Haji has launched the first ever nationwide campaign to distribute free of charge long lasting Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets to all families in Zanzibar in support of ongoing efforts to eliminate malaria.

“If we work as a team, and people observe health precautions it is possible to eliminate malaria,” said Duni during the launch of the project. The minister appealed to the general public to change attitudes towards environmental hygiene by keeping their surroundings clean to keep mosquito breeding grounds at bay.

He appealed to people, mainly in villages to avoid misuse of the supplied mosquito nets, including using them for fishing and fencing gardens.  “Survey shows that some people use the nets for different unintended purposes,” the minister said.  He said the exercise to distribute mosquito nets begins with extensive awareness campaigns and registration of all households followed by giving out the treated mosquito nets to each family.

“We ask all residents to show cooperation during registration of households in Unguja and Pemba Islands. About 2,000 workforces will be deployed for the exercise before distributing about 700,000 bed nets worth about 3.4 million US dollars,” he said.

Mr Suleiman, the Zanzibar Malaria Control Project (ZMCP) manager, said that the estimated cost for implementation of the exercise that includes awareness, transportation and payment to workers was 130,000 US dollars.

“Despite recent increase of malaria cases in some areas, we are determined to maintain the current prevalence of below one per cent towards elimination of malaria in the islands,” he said, adding that the exercise would be followed by the seventh nationwide Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) later this year.

Zanzibar has registered a success story in reducing malaria from 40 per cent in 2004 down to 0.6 last year. Thanks to the Global Fund, the USAID, PMI, WHO, and other development partners.

By ISSA YUSSUF, Tanzania Daily News


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