The burden of malaria in Tanzania has an indirect but large impact on productivity, the economy, and development. Disability and death caused by malaria results in a depleted labor force, as there is reduced quantity and quality of labor inputs. This translates into reduced economic output and resource underutilization. The economic impact of malaria is so high that, in developing countries with a high prevalence such as Tanzania, experts considered it one of the major causes of poverty. Malaria costs Africa $12 billion USD annually in lost Gross Domestic Product, with a demonstrated inverse relationship between malaria elimination and progress in a country’s development.
The goal of Malaria Safe was to expand the partnership between the powerful private sector and public sector leaders in Tanzania to control and eventually eliminate malaria. Malaria Safe worked with the business community to encourage them to recognize the impact of malaria on the workforce and the economic advantage of addressing malaria. The end goal of this advocacy was that business partners would choose to work with the Government of Tanzania and other non-government partners in order to reduce some of the economic burden of malaria control on the public sector, and provide opportunities for alternative venues and strategies for malaria control.
Malaria Safe worked to achieve this by:
- Increasing awareness among businesses of the benefits of joining Malaria Safe
- Establishing a system for collecting malaria-related data from companies to monitor the impact of Malaria Safe activities on the health of employees
- Enhancing visibility of the initiative in order to attract more participants.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) Voices for a Malaria Free Future program initiated Malaria Safe, and in 2013, Malaria Safe transitioned to the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP). The National Malaria Control Program coordinated and implemented Malaria Safe, with technical assistance from TCCP.