Malaria situation and response

Malaria is a major public health challenge in the United Republic of Tanzania. Ninety-three percent of the mainland population (and the entire population of Zanzibar) is at risk of infection; Plasmodium falciparum accounts for 96% of cases. These staggering levels of malaria endemicity result in 11 million clinically diagnosed cases of malaria each year, exacting a high toll on health facilities and human life. According to Population Services International (PSI), 80% of the 60 000–80 000 annual malaria deaths in the United Republic of Tanzania occur among pregnant women and children under five years of age.

The complexity of malaria control is in part due to the considerable variation in malaria epidemiology throughout the country. Stable, perennial transmission occurs along the coastal fringe, southern lowlands, and regions bordering Lake Victoria, while the southern, northern and western parts of the country experience stable malaria with seasonal peaks at the end of their respective rainy seasons. Unstable seasonal transmission occurs in the arid central plateau. This mix of unstable and stable transmission patterns accounts for the impact of malaria on adults as well as children and pregnant women in the United Republic of Tanzania, since those living in areas of unstable transmission do not develop immunity to the parasite.

National Malaria Control Programme

Two separate malaria control programmes operate in the United Republic of Tanzania: the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) serves the Mainland; and the Zanzibar Malaria Control Programme (ZMCP) operates in Zanzibar. Both malaria programmes are currently drafting new strategic plans for 2014–2020. According to the ‘Lives Saved Tool’ estimation model, the NMCP’s malaria prevention and treatment efforts saved 63 000 child lives between 1999 and 2010, figures supported by concurrent declines in parasitaemia prevalence, severe childhood anaemia, and all-cause under-five child mortality. In Zanzibar, malaria prevalence remains extremely low (less than 1%) and the ZMCP is now pursuing strategies towards malaria elimination.

These achievements can be attributed to ongoing activities by multiple stakeholders to introduce and expand coverage of effective malaria prevention and treatment measures, including insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides, intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPTp), diagnosis with rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) or microscopy, and treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).

The NMCP strategic plan for 2014–2020, which is under development, includes the following goals:

  • To reduce malaria morbidity and deaths by 80% from 2011 levels by 2020.
  • To reduce malaria prevalence from 10% in 2012 to 1% in 2020.
  • To reach the pre-elimination phase of malaria by 2020, defined as 1 case per thousand population.

In order to meet these goals, the NMCP has specified objectives and strategies in the following thematic areas: 1) malaria case management; 2) integrated malaria vector control; 3) supportive interventions, such as behaviour change communication (BCC) and monitoring and evaluation (M&E); and 4) programme management.

RBM partners' activities

Malaria endemic countries

Multilateral development partners

Research centres/universities


OECD donor countries

In the news

ASMQ FDC proves safe and efficacious to treat children in Africa with malaria

5 November 2014, 10:48 pm

Clinical trial results provide evidence for introducing this Artemisinin Derivative-based Combination Therapy into Africa's current malaria treatment arsenal to help tackle the number one parasitic killer. The study was conducted in three African countries: Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Read more

ICT Important in improving health care, says Bilal

21 October 2014, 6:48 am

THE Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, has underscored the significance of information and communication technology (ICT) in improving health care, by providing new and more efficient ways of storing, accessing and sharing information.

Read more

Tanzania: Dar hosts crucial malaria meeting

30 August 2014, 12:16 am

An important meeting on malaria will be held in Dar es Salaam next week as part of preparations for the development of the next GMAP.

Read more

Project 'Last Mile' expands to improve availability of medicines

25 June 2014, 7:16 pm

The Coca-Cola Company and its Foundations, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced the expansion of "Project Last Mile" to include 10 African countries over the next five years.

Read more

Antibiotics overuse Is price of success in malaria fight

26 February 2014, 8:00 pm

As malaria rates decline across much of Africa, a new study seeks to fight another problem.

Read more

Tanzania: Can Zanzibar Eliminate Malaria By Year 2017? (Page 1 of 2)

1 January 2014, 8:20 pm

Zanzibar through its Malaria Elimination Programme (ZAMEP) is struggling to meet its goal of "Zero locally acquired malaria cases by 2017."

Read more
  • Malaria situation and response
  • Funding shortfalls
  • RBM partners' activities
  • In the news