Malaria In Tanzanian Children

Like in many countries in the sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania is experiencing high number of morbidity and deaths of children resulting from malaria. Children under the age of five years are the worst hit by this menace. The problem has been worsened by the resistance of the parasite that is responsible for malaria to anti-malarial drugs such as quinine. Tanzania just like many other countries is struggling with this problem as they have to keep changing the drugs that call for consistent and effective research.

Effects of malaria in children

The economic impact of malaria problem is enormous. There are various costs both direct and indirect associated with the control and the treatment of malaria. Direct costs are the money spent by the families of these children as well as the government to control and treat malaria. For example in the purchase of drugs and treated mosquito nets as well as transport costs to and from the health facility. Indirect costs come in through the time spent especially by the parents of these children in seeking medication for their children which otherwise could be expended in a more productive way. The pain, discomfort and emotional breakdown that these children undergo add to the indirect costs. Every single death of a child as a result of malaria means a loss of the future income for the country from the earning that would be made by the child once he is a working adult. Malaria is also a major cause of developmental problems such as deterred growth in children. Anaemia and nerves problem are some other possible severe effects of malaria in children not forgetting the effect on weight of the child.

Challenges facing fight for malaria

The government of Tanzania is working tirelessly to combat malaria in children but this is not without obstacles. Budget constraint is a primary challenge. Being a developing country, the available funds are barely enough to meet the health expenditure sufficiently. In addition, there are many health needs competing for the amount allocated to the health sector. The fight against malaria in children is as important as the fight again non-communicable diseases such as HIV, diabetes among others. The health systems in Tanzania have the task strengthening the existing interventions combined with new effective interventions to control malaria in children. They should also embark in own research on malaria or partner with institutions of research to inform policy and decision making concerning malaria in children.

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