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Tanzania: Malaria Drug Makers Must Not Be Stymied

IT has come to light that some municipalities in the country have not paid producers of a mosquito larvae killing chemical a total of 2bn/-. The municipalities received their consignments of the chemical but have remained silent on payment. Tanzania Biotech Product Limited, the company that produces biolarvacides, the agent that kills mosquito larvae, complains that the municipalities' stance on the debts stymies their operations critically. The firm says it has supplied 236,000 litres of the agent so far. Acting General Manager, Eng Aggregates Ndunguru, says that in June, President John Magufuli instructed the Treasury to disburse 1.320bn/- to the company for the supply of biolarvacides. He placed an order for 100,000 litres which have already been distributed to 14 malaria prone regions. "We have received only 1bn/- and the balance is still pending, Eng Ndunguru says. Some 136,420 litres worth 1.8bn/- have been sent to a further 12 regions. Surprisingly, not a single shilling has been paid. Now, this is not a fair deal. It is a hostile business climate that can eventually lead to a factory shutdown. Indeed, the situation has put the company in a tricky position. It is imperative to point out at this juncture that frustrating a firm that helps the nation fight malaria is unreasonable. Tanzania faces a critical burden in connection with malaria. The burden of malaria, invariably, remains high. Every year, between 14 and 18 million new malaria cases are reported, resulting in 120,000 deaths. This makes mosquitoes the most prolific killers. Of these deaths, 70,000 are in children less than five years of age. The annual incidence rate lies between 400 and 500 per every 1,000 people and this number doubles for children aged below five years. The disease is also highly dangerous to pregnant women. The ailment is the leading cause of outpatients, inpatients, and admissions of children aged below five years at health facilities. No wonder, it considered to be the major cause of loss of economic productivity in persons aged between 15 and 56 years. Malaria is also the main impediment to learning capacity for people aged between five and 25 years. In that case, the disease becomes one of the most frustrating obstacles to economic development and foreign investment in Tanzania. Despite the vigorous government efforts to wipe out the scourge wrought by the prevalence of malaria, it has been determined that the killer disease is spreading alarmingly in some parts of Tanzania, including Dar es Salaam. The malarial infection rate this year has reached 14.8 per cent nationally compared to 10 per cent in the year 2012. It has also been established that three regions (Kagera, Geita and Kigoma) have the highest infection rates in the country. This is a worrisome situation. Credit:http://allafrica.com/stories/201712190249.html

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