Global fight against malaria: Tanzania gets massive malaria boost

August 19, 2009 at 9:31 am | Posted in Africa | Leave a comment
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The Global Fund for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria will give Tanzania $111-million for treated bed nets to fight malaria, a senior UN envoy said.

The Tanzanian government says the disease, which kills nearly one million people worldwide annually, claims between 60 000 and 80 000 lives every year in the east African country. Worst affected are pregnant women and children.

The Global Fund is helping the nation of 40 million people through the distribution of treated nets, among other things. To date, it has given Tanzania at least $128-million for malaria.

“Global Fund representatives… have committed to sign the Round 8 Grant agreement next week and they are ready to disburse the money,” Ray Chambers, UN special envoy for malaria, told experts meeting in Dar es Salaam late on Monday.

“The money is going to go to 14 million bed nets for universal coverage.”

Tanzania’s government says malaria takes away about 3,4 percent of the country’s economic output.

Chambers, who is accompanying World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan on a visit to highlight Tanzania’s success in fighting malaria, said the challenge in Africa was convincing people to use nets once they got them.

“The average, it appears, in Africa, (is that) one out of two people will not sleep under a net unless they are reminded, encouraged, there are inspirational messages on the radio,” Chambers said.

“So everyone is really going to cooperate… to make sure people are sleeping under a net and nobody is using them to catch fish.”

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