Tanzania: Strengthening response to cholera and malaria

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MSF has been working since 1997 to strengthen official response to epidemics. When Tanzania was hit with limited outbreaks of meningitis (in Mtwara) and cholera (in Dar es Salaam) over the last year, MSF monitored the response of the local authorities and remained ready to assist if requested. MSF is also currently in the second phase of a comprehensive effort to improve cholera preparedness in Dodoma, Lini, and Dar es Salaam. The leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Tanzania is malaria. MSF is starting a project to strengthen malaria management (in line with the country's new Malaria Diagnosis and Treatement guideline) in the district of Kigoma; the program will also focus on public awareness and education at the community level. MSF continues work in the Mtwara health district, reaching a population of 200,000 people. The focus is on mothers and children. A similar district health project in Kigoma, which benefited about 230,000 people, drew to a close in November 2000. Work in Kigoma included a strong cholera prevention component. Intensified fighting in neighboring Burundi has prompted an influx of people seeking refuge in Tanzania. MSF remains ready to assist government authorities and other agencies should the humanitarian situation worsen. MSF began working in Tanzania in 1993. CAPTION: After a medical consultation with MSF, mothers and their babies rest outside the village health center in Rutongo, in Burundi's Bujumbura Rural province. The peaceful scene belies a country scourged by war, malaria, and hunger. International staff: 16 National staff: 80