A project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs.


Malaria is one of Tanzania’s deadliest diseases, accounting for 36% of deaths among children under age five and some 40% of all outpatient visits. Nearly all 46 million Tanzanians are at risk, according to the World Health Organization’s 2012 World Malaria Report. The National Malaria Control Program reports that approximately 14 to 18 million malaria cases occur in Tanzania per year. Of those, 60,000 end in death.

To combat rampant malaria, Tanzania has distributed 26.4 million nets since 2010. In 2011, a universal coverage campaign set out to cover every sleeping space with a long-lasting insecticide-treated net, and a keep-up campaign is now underway. Pregnant women and infants receive free nets through a national voucher scheme. Other malaria commdities such as rapid diagnostic tests and subsidized ACTs are being scaled up, but additional resources and continued behavior change communication is needed to sustain these gains.

To help meet these needs, the United Against Malaria campaign in Tanzania is leveraging the popularity of football to rally the public and private sector to the fight against malaria, raising awareness on and off the pitch.

UAM private sector partners in Tanzania

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UAM looking ahead

Tanzania boasts several rich opportunities for sustainable growth and partnership. After the national Malaria Safe launch in 2012, UAM partners have come together to form a Malaria Safe steering committee, led by Minister of Health Dr. Hussein A. Mwinyi. This committee will meet regularly to identify public and private funds for malaria control. Since the launch, the prime minister has written letters to 32 Tanzanian companies to encourage them to become Malaria Safe and requested additional public funding for malaria control from various government entities. TAPAMA, a parliamentary caucus on malaria, has helped the NMCP unlock resources at the district level. As the partnership strengthens and grows, Tanzania will benefit from healthier workers and communities, greater productivity and more robust economic growth.

Also, unprecedented opportunities for visibility await the campaign through the growing support of football federations at the national and international level. At the CECAFA Cup in November 2010, CECAFA chairman Leodegar Tenga publicly asserted his ongoing commitment, followed by FIFA World Cup organizing committee president Danny Jordan. The FIFA World Cup 2014 would introduce UAM to billions of people—and provide the final push necessary to beat malaria in Africa and around the world.