Tanzania launches anti-malaria campaign

Tanzania’s government has introduced a nationwide anti-malaria  awareness campaign titled “Malaria Haikubaliki: Tushirikiane Kuitokomeza” (Malaria is unacceptable: Working together, we can eliminate malaria).  As reported on September 25, 2010 in Tanzania’s This Day newspaper:

The country, arguably one of the leaders in the global fight against malaria, recently introduced an anti malaria campaign – Malaria Haikubaliki –  which involves all sectors of the society including entertainment, business, sport and religion sectors in the battle against malaria across the country.

In spearheading the campaign, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare joined hands with prominent Tanzanian musicians, international partners, senior government officials and  the business sector to stage the Zinduka! (“Wake Up!”) Concert scheduled to take place on February 13, this year at the Leaders’ Club in Dar es Salaam …

The objective of the effort is to increase practices to prevent malaria such as consistently sleeping under an insecticide treated mosquito net, detecting and treating malaria early; and ensuring antenatal care for pregnant women…

The national campaign is anchored at the community and household level by community mobilization activities implemented by Population Services International (PSI) and Johns Hopkins University and district advocacy activities led by Voices II.

At the same time, Tanzania Red Cross is conducting Hang Up and Keep Up campaigns across the country. From the faith community, Malaria Haikubaliki is joined by the Christian Social Services Commission and Bakwata (the National Muslim Council) to engage faith leaders and their congregations in the effort to combat malaria nationwide.

On September 23, 2009, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete became the head of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) which was launched at the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The alliance is comprised of seventeen African Heads of State working to end malaria-related deaths. Angola is not a member of ALMA.

Advertisements

Africa Cup football teams join to fight malaria

The United Against Malaria Partnership (UAM) has launched a major media campaign to fight malaria during the 27th edition of the African Nations Cup in Angola, which kicked off on January 10. The campaign includes a series of television spots featuring African football stars and United Against Malaria youth ambassador Charles Ssali. The spots are airing during broadcasts of the Cup which runs until  January 31 in the cities of Luanda, Lubango, Cabinda and Benguela.

A spokesman for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Herve Verhoosel, told media “We will use the power of football to communicate on malaria prevention. When a player speaks on TV or on the radio or in the press, when the player says to the young children, ‘Sleep under a bed net,’ people are listening.”

According to VOANEWS, “Angola’s national football association this week joined similar associations from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and the United States in the anti-malaria group. Other members include the national teams of Mali and Tanzania and European Champions Barcelona of Spain.”

The partnership, which is supported by international donors and corporate sponsors including ExxonMobil and Sumitomo Chemical, will extend the media campaign to the football World Cup which kicks off in June in South Africa.

Livingstone got it right

In 1958, anthropologist Frank Livingstone predicted that malaria originated in chimpanzees. Now scientists are proving him right…

Ague, tertian fever, quartan fever, paludism. Malaria has been known about since ancient times and has gone under many names. Today, it kills over a million people a year, most of them young children. Where it originally came from, though, has been a matter of scientific debate for half a century. In 1958 Frank Livingstone, a noted anthropologist, suggested that Plasmodium falciparum (which is by far the deadliest of the several parasites that cause human malaria) had jumped into Homo sapiens from chimpanzees. He speculated that the rise of agriculture had led to human encroachment on wild forests, giving the chimp version of the bug, P. reichenowi, the chance to find a new host. A rival camp, however, argued that P. falciparum was a variant of P. gallinaceum, a parasite found in chickens. A paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences shows that Livingstone got it right.

Read more in “Human malaria started in chimpanzees” – an article published on August 4, 2009 in The Economist print edition and online at http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14162364

Angola Mosquito Net Project featured in Vida magazine

The Angola Mosquito Net Project’s Committe Chairman Tako Koning was interviewed by Angola’s Vida mgazine, as part of their coverage of World Malaria Day on April 25. Click to download a PDF of the article, published on April 21. Vida is Angola’s popular arts, culture and business magazine that is printed weekly in Luanda. In the article, Tako discusses the project’s history, donors and partners, and highlights some of the Project’s net recipients, such as the Mobile Clinic outside of Luanda and the clinic in M’Banza Congo, Zaire province.

World Malaria Day 2009

Today is World Malaria Day and Angola has reason to celebrate. On Tuesday, Angola’s National Malaria Control Programme (PNCM) announced that “the death rate has been decreasing for the past two years due to the epidemiological coverage being implemented nationwide”. In 2008, there were about three million simple cases and 200,000 of serious cases with 9,000 deaths were registered in Angola. Read the story on AllAfrica.com.

To mark World Malaria Day in Angola, the inaugeration of the country’s first health research centre took place this afternoon in Caxito (a city north of Luanda). Researchers at the centre will study diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AID. The research centre was created as an initiative between the governments of Angola, Portugual and the Colouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Read ANGOP’s full article.

Nets donated to the Mobile Clinic

Happy to be receiving a mosquito net.

Happy to be receiving a mosquito net. Mobile Clinic Volunteer Viveca Chan, a nurse and their young patient.

The Angola Mosquitonet Project donated 700 nets in January to the Mobile Clinic, a small team of women who work with some of the 350 patients at the Tuberculosis Hospital in Luanda. Headed up by Bernie Nicholson, a registered nurse who formed the group six years ago, the women get donations to buy food and medicine and other necessities such as drinking water for some of the patients there whose families cannot afford to support them.

All tucked in and protected from mosquitoes.

All tucked in and protected from mosquitoes.

The patients that the team works with, each receive a mosquito net which they take home with them upon discharge. Viveca Chan, who has been working with tuberculosis patients in the hospital for four years, says, “Thank you, we have been able to give out more mosquito nets recently. The problem is just how to use them. It is high to the ceiling and not possible to attach them there. Mostly they try and get sticks to extend the posts of the bed. But many of the patients are too weak to walk, and many have no family to help either. “

Mounting a net on a hospital bed is a challenge.  Without leave to drill holes in walls or the ceiling, sticks are tied to bed posts and the net is tied to the sticks.

Mounting a net on a hospital bed is a challenge. Without leave to drill holes in walls or the ceiling, sticks are tied to bed posts and the net is tied to the sticks.

The Mosquitonet Project is happy to support the Mobile Clinic and thanks them for helping TB patients.

New findings about malaria in Luanda

Read some recently published information about malaria in urban Luanda:

  • Download a PDF of the five page report published in March 2009 in The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene journal, titled: “How Much Malaria Occurs in Urban Luanda, Angola? A Health Facility-Based Assessment”
  • Download a PDF  of the ‘Health facility-based evaluation of malaria in Luanda, Angola March 17-31, 2008′ poster

Thank you to USAID in Angola’s malaria experts Dr. Mihigo and Dr. Saute for providing the Angola MosquitoNet Project with this material .