Malaria and poverty entertain a close relationship through historical times. Past studies have abundantly documented the benefits of malaria control on economic development and human well-being, and as a direct result poverty alleviation.
Since its inception in 2002, Swiss support to the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) has provided multiple and in-depth management, strategic and technical support. Swiss support has allowed growing the Tanzanian mosquito net programme (NATNETS) to one of the largest, most innovative and most successful in the world. Swiss support has also allowed strengthening malaria case management and decisively developing the monitoring and evaluation component of the programme. Finally, Swiss support greatly strengthened evidence-based planning and capacity building of government staff. During the past 5 years, activities implemented by Swiss actors had a leverage of over 100 dollars per dollar invested, and led directly to averting over 60,000 child deaths every year. Swiss support to Tanzania is universally seen as a major success story, to be replicated in other endemic countries.
As prevalence of malaria across the country declined, the heterogeneity in transmission greatly increased. At present, some areas in Tanzania remain with a very high transmission and hence with a high malaria burden, while other areas are rapidly moving towards local elimination of transmission. As a result, it is not possible any more to have a one size-fits-all in the combination of interventions, and risk stratification followed by decentralized malaria control planning has gained rapidly in prominence. The present project entitled “Towards Malaria Elimination in Tanzania” (TEMT) fully embraces that new strategic approach recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and undertakes to support it (Outcome 1). In addition, the new project is committed to strengthen national, regional and global links (Outcome 2), as well as generating, disseminating and using knowledge nationally, regionally and globally (Outcome 3).
Hence, TEMT includes the following three outcomes:
- Support cost-effective and evidence-based malaria control efforts at national level and decentralized in each epidemiological risk strata, in line with the current SMSP.
- Enhancing multi-sectoral action in malaria control by including non-health sectors and particularly the private sector in the malaria control effort and extend this to cross-border and regional initiatives.
- Develop a comprehensive knowledge management strategy for malaria control in Tanzania and increasing the contributions and visibility of the Tanzanian experience at regional and global level.
The total cost for this phase of years amounts to CHF 5,800,000. Switzerland’s contribution through the TEMT project will cover all technical and strategic inputs provided by Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute staff based in Tanzania, as well as the management of the project. Only minimal operational costs will be incurred, because these are largely covered by other donors.
The TEMT project will benefit all Tanzanians (mainland and Zanzibar) suffering from the burden of malaria disease – particularly those in rural areas and those in the highest risk groups (pregnant women and children, individuals living with HIV). Hence, the total number of beneficiaries is around 50 millions. By reducing the burden of disease from malaria substantially, the project will contribute to reduce the number of patients seen in health facilities, and alleviate poverty for all Tanzanians.