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TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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INESS Site Profile: IFAKARA HEALTH INSTITUTE (IHI)

Mbarwa  Kivuyo, Tanzania

The  history  of  Ifakara  Health  Institute  (IHI)  cannot  be complete without mentioning  the  visit  to  Tanzania  of TProf.  Rudolf  Geigy,  the  founder  of  the  Swiss  Tropical Institute  (STI). Prof. Geigy arrived at  Ifakara  in Morogoro  in 1949 on the  invitation of the Archdiocese of Mahenge to see how the Swiss  institute  could  assist  the  diocese  in  addressing  health problems affecting  the  region.

At that time, Ifakara had a high prevalence of parasitic diseases such  as  trypasonomiasis,  schistosomiasis  and  malaria.  The focus of  the visit  then became  that of understanding  the biology of  tsetse  flies,  termites and Aedes mosquitoes.

That  Ifakara Health  Institute  (IHI) has come a  long way  is no longer  in doubt. The  current Director of  IHI, Dr .  Salim Abdulla,  reflects  “Prof. Geigy would hardly recognize the organization that he founded over  50  years  ago.”  For  instance,  apart  from  the  registered office in Ifakara, Morogoro, there are now other office facilities in Dar es Salaam  (established  in 1997), Rufiji  (1998), Mtwara (2000), Bagamoyo (2005), and Kigoma (2007). Ifakara and Rufiji sites' host demographic surveillance systems that feed the data into the just launched project called the INDEPTH Effectiveness and Safety Studies of Anti-Malaria Drugs in Africa (INESS). Such a rapid institutional growth became a factor that necessitated the change of  the corporate name  in 2008  from  IHRDC  to  IHI.

The vision of IHI has been to become a centre of excellence and innovation to maximize public health gain. Realization of this ambition  is  backed  by  a  long-term  strategy  to  develop  local capacities in the area of public health research, and to provide quick and sustainable solutions to community health problems.

Its  current  strategic  plan  seeks  to  assure  “operational excellence”  in all  facets of  IHI's work. The results of these efforts are encouraging  so  far .  In  terms of capacity building,  IHI has produced world-class  leaders  in  research.

IHI sends at least two scientists each year for further trainings and specialization in the  biomedical   discipl ine,   Social scientists,  public  health  specialists, economists and management specialists.

IHI hosts international specialists from a number of professional fields, a strategy which  enables  the  organization  to continue to develop Tanzanian expertise at  the  highest  level.  This  nurturing environment attracts a growing number of young Tanzanians eager to develop a career  in  health  research.  At  the  same time,   it  hosts  international   PhD
candidates to undertake their field work in Tanzania.

In terms of technological advancement, IHI has  the  state-of-the-art  laboratories in Ifakara and Bagamoyo sites capable of analysing diverse  samples  ranging  from blood  slides  to DNA analyses. In addition, IHI operates three demographic sentinel surveillance  sites  in  Ifakara,  Rufiji  and  Kigoma.  These surveillance  facilities provide continuous monitoring of age, sex and cause-specific mortality. The Bagamoyo site monitors  in-patients  and  out-patients  at  the  district  hospital  while  the Ifakara site maintains an  insectory of mosquitoes and a massive “screen house”  to monitor  the behaviour of captive mosquitoes
in  semi-field  conditions.  In Mtwara  and  Lindi,  IHI  is  running three  rounds of  the  largest health  survey ever  conducted  in Tanzania  to measure maternal and newborn health.
 
IHI  has  contributed  significantly  to  policy  development  and action at district, national and international levels. Specifically, IHI  evaluated  the  impact  of  insecticide  treated  bed-nets  in Tanzania;  and  it  was  found  that  the  intervention  has contributed  to  27%  improvement  on  child  survival  and  has reduced malaria  and  anaemia  episodes  by  60%  (The  Lancet Vol.357).  The  findings were  among  the  evidence  to  support scaling-up of the program and proposal for universal coverage of  insecticide treated bed-nets  in the country.  In the same spirit to promote public health  improvement,  IHI has developed a tool  to  identify  high  risks  community  with  urinary schistosomiasis.  The  tool  was  validated  in  seven  African countries and  it  is now  in the World Health Organization Schisto Manual  for wider use.

The institute aims to continue conducting biomedical research, intervention  research,  health  systems  research  and  general program monitoring and evaluation. In a nutshell, IHI develops and  evaluates  health  system  interventions  to  improve  the coverage,  quality,  equity  and  efficiency  and  effectiveness;  it evaluates  interventions  against  diseases  of  public  health importance; understands health determinants of  the  leading public health problems; monitors and evaluates the impact of national and global initiatives in improving population health; and  promotes  evidence-based  policy  formulation  and translates  research  results  into public health action.
                                                                          The  internat ional   community   has appreciated  the work  of  IHI  as  one  of  the African  institutions  that  have  made  a difference  in  public  health  improvements. The institute is the winner of the 2008 Prince of  Asturias  Award  for  International   Cooperation.  In  the  past,  the  institute  has al so  received  several   medal s   and international awards including that from the Royal  Society  of  Tropical  Medicine  and Hygiene  and  the  Centenary  Award.  The President  of  Tanzania  who  visited  the institute  in  November  2008  said  he  was  impressed by the ongoing experiment at the
institute where  a  certain  type  of  fungus  is being used as a biological control of malaria-
causing mosquitoes.
 

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