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24th April, 2012: United Against Malaria

John Hopkins University organized a meeting with private sector stakeholders on World Malaria Day to assess the Private Sector involvement in the fight against malaria in Tanzania. The meeting also explored ways of how to strengthen private sector participation.

The private sectors attendees were the Tanzania Football Federation, Stanbic Bank, Vodacom Charity Foundation, TIGO, AZAM, Tanzania Coffee Board and HAT. The public sector was represented by the Ministry of health and the MP’s against malaria were there as well as numerous representatives from the United Against Malaria initiative at the John Hopkins University.

Malaria is still the number 1 killer disease in Tanzania. It kills yearly between 60,000 and 80,000 people in our country, mainly children under the age of 5 and pregnant women.
In the fight against malaria, there are several things we as employers can do.
One would be to have some Rapid Diagnostic Tests at hand in your property to help diagnose people quickly. These tests are considered to be quite accurate, and at the meeting, the attendees were informed that it has been proven now scientifically as well that these RDT’s are more accurate than the microscope tests done in Hospitals and clinics.

Apart from the fact that employees can quickly be diagnosed and can immediately start the treatment, it also educates them and they can then share this information with their extended family. This will also reduce the number of days an employee calls in sick and result in higher attendance levels.

There are still a lot of misconceptions about malaria; people that malaria can be contracted from eating unripe mangos, or just by walking in the rain, to name just a few.
This link http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=40875 contains information and more details on activities in Tanzania. Please get active in raising the awareness about malaria (if you haven’t already, that is) and join the Become Malaria Safe initiative from the John Hopkins University by getting in touch with them directly. (http://jhuccp.org/news/success_stories/united-against-malaria-banner-malaria-messages-swahili-hangs-tanzania-national).