Fighting malaria at community level

Tandahimba in Mtwara is one of the poorest and most remote areas of Tanzania. Before 2015, the death rate for mothers and children was incredibly high because the community had limited access to malaria treatment and maternal health services. Until recently, there were very few health workers in the region and people had to travel a great distance to visit hospitals or clinics.

In 2015, Amref started working with local communities to make positive health changes. An integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) project was set up, with a specific focus on malaria prevention. The project enabled the most vulnerable members of the community to access the vital health services they need to fight one of Africa’s most dangerous diseases.

The project supports the community by:

  • Empowering people to prevent and control malaria and other diseases such as TB and typhoid.
  • Increasing access to effective malaria prevention and treatment for mothers and children.
  • Training local health workers to manage and control malaria and other communicable diseases.
Amref Health Africa’s approach is always community-based, providing local people with the skills they need to bring better health to their own communities. All 43 villages involved in the project have held successful Village Health Days supported by Amref, with increasing numbers of participants. The days focus on educating the community on malaria diagnosis and ways to prevent malaria from spreading and are also used for general health education and environmental cleaning.

Case study 

Ahmed Bakari is 34 years old and comes from the Tandahimba district. He received training from Amref Health Africa, which allows him to work with the community members and improve health in the local district. 
“My main job is to influence the community to have positive change in terms of health and social development. As well as encouraging the men to get involved, I have also had training from Amref on improving maternal and child health, malaria prevention and nutrition for under fives. My work is difficult but I feel supported by Amref and have proof that Community Health Workers in Tandahimba are making a difference to people’s lives.”

Our impact 

  • Direct beneficiaries: 474
  • Indirect beneficiaries: 35,104
  • Health workers trained: 178
  • Women benefitted: 24,629
  • Children benefitted: 10,614

Tanzania in numbers 

  • Population: 51 million
  • Number of doctors per 1000 people: 0.03
  • Maternal mortality rate (per 100,000): 556
  • Under 5s mortality rate (per 1000 live births): 67
  • Unmet need for family planning (among women 15-49): 23%