Tanzania's Health minister Ummy calls for action against antimicrobial resistance

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu receives assorted gifts from KIDO, who is the Ambassador of "Holela-Holela Itakukosti" campaign which is aimed at raising awareness and combat the growing issues of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and priority zoonotic diseases (PZDs) in Tanzania after meeting over the weekend in Dodoma. 

What you need to know:

  • Ms Ummy Mwalimu met and held talks with KIDO, who is the ambassador of the Holela-Holela Itakukosti (Recklessness Will Cost You) campaign that focuses on antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases

Dodoma. Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu has highlighted the need for Tanzanians to take special care to curb antimicrobial resistance and the spread of zoonotic diseases.

Ms Mwalimu said this over the weekend when she met and held talks with KIDO, who is the ambassador of the “Holela-Holela Itakukosti” campaign.

The ‘Holela-Holela Itakukosti” (Recklessness Will Cost You) campaign focuses on antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be passed from animals to humans).

It highlights the need for actions to prevent antimicrobial resistance and the spread of zoonotic diseases and works at the local level to develop community awareness and preventive action.

The campaign is being coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister in collaboration with the Ministries of Health; Livestock and Fisheries Development, as well as the Vice President’s Office (Union and Environment), with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Breakthrough ACTION project.

Speaking during the meeting, Ms Mwalimu stressed the resistance of pathogens to drugs, commonly known by its Kiswahili acronym as Uvida, and priority zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted from animals to humans), which the “Holela-Holela Itakukosti” campaign targets.

“My appeal to the community is that we can only do a few things to deal with Uvida, such as properly following the advice of health professionals, following instructions from veterinary and agricultural experts and on top of that, using the correct drugs for livestock and farms, washing hands with clean water with soap, and maintaining the cleanliness of our environment,” she said.

She said the issue of Uvida was a very serious challenge, and its effects included diseases recurring and taking time to recover, the spread of pathogens resistant to drugs, disability and even death.

Apart from that, there are economic effects such as spending a lot of money on medical treatment which thus leads to reducing personal time spent managing daily activities, family, and loss of income’.

She said the government was making a lot of efforts in dealing with Uvida, which includes launching the “Holela-Holela Itakukosti” campaign, which intends to increase awareness about Uvida and bring positive changes in behaviour in dealing with Uvida within society.

Apart from that, there is a work plan for the fight against Uvida (NAP AMR 2023-2028), the National Committee for the fight against Uvida (AMR MCC) that is under the One Health project and other sectoral guidelines that help the fight against Uvida.

On his part, USAID Mission Acting Director Alex Klaits said that the 'Holela-Holela Itakukosti' campaign builds on the 60-year partnership between the people of the United States and Tanzania.

As Tanzania’s largest bilateral donor, the US has contributed more than $7.5 billion in assistance, not loans with repayment requirements, in the last 20 years to strengthen security, boost economic growth, expand democratic participation, and improve health, education, and nutrition for ordinary Tanzanians.