Tanzania is committed to constructing health facilities at its borders after Rwanda launching its first cross border malaria health facility at Rusumo, its border entry with Tanzania.
“We thank Rwanda’s efforts to fight malaria and the initiative they have to strengthen cross border malaria fight,” said Godwin Mollel, Deputy Health Minister for Tanzania during the launch of great lakes malaria initiative health post on Thursday 18th
The facility is part of the Great Lakes Malaria Initiative-GLMI a strategy that is coordinated by East African Secretariat that brings together joint efforts by member states and DRC in the fight against Malaria.
The initiative has two structures; the regional joint GLMI council of ministers and the regional expert working group on malaria, a sub group of the EAC TWG on prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
“We are bordering each other and resistance develop in different way, so when we have cross border monitoring if resistance develop in any place we can coordinate very easily and improve everything,” The Minister noted
The health post supported by SFH Rwanda will provide testing and treatment of malaria services, support in sensitization of community at the borders while also carrying out surveillance of the mosquitoes across the border.
“To move forward we are going to rollout similar initiative we have done in Kirehe district and health facilities at border posts of EAC partner states,” said Stephen Niyonzima, Director Social and Productive sectors at the EAC Secretariat.
Dr Daniel Ngamije, Rwanda’s Minister of health said that the Health post comes to supplement the country’s efforts to eliminate malaria but also bring about cross border coordination in the fight against malaria.
“It is my pleasure that well defined in terms of design, equipment, rooms staffing and packages of services to offer to the population crossing the borders but also cross border surveillance for both mosquito and parasite,” he said
During the launch of the facility, delegates who included representatives from member states and DRC witnessed the demonstration of drones used in larviciding at Cyunuzi Rice cultivation and demonstration of IRS at village level at Rusumo border.
Dr Brian Chirombo, head of Mission and Representative World Health Organisation Rwanda said that the cross border health facilities will help countries to address challenges such as drug and insecticide resistance which would be happening on one side of the border and can spill over on the other.
Sukaya Misra, Associate Manager at SC Johnson said that the great Lakes Malaria Initiative is a major milestone for the region in the fight against malaria and is optimistic that joint interventions will help the region to harmonize efforts in the fight against Malaria.
“One of SC Johnsons major goals is disease prevention and we have done a lot of work globally in disease prevention work and in Rwanda our focus is malaria,” she said
Dr Rashid Abdi Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary, ministry of health Kenya says, “it is important that whatever action that any member state that takes on malaria, then we need to coordinate so that we get impactful results.”
The implementation of GLMI will be guided by Great Lakes malaria strategic plan 2020-2025 which was launched on 25th June this year to provide key strategic direction that will accelerate progress towards malaria burden reduction in east Africa partner states and DRC.