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May 26, 2011
New study finds dramatic increases in mosquito net ownership and HIV testing in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
More than six in ten households in Tanzania have an insecticide-treated mosquito net, according to the newly released 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS). More children are living past their fifth birthday, and HIV testing has increased markedly. However, the 2010 TDHS reveals that many Tanzanian children are malnourished.

Nationwide, ownership of mosquito nets has increased since the last TDHS in 2004-05. In 2004-05, just 23% of Tanzanian households had an insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITN), compared to 64% of households in 2010. Similarly, use of mosquito nets by the two groups most vulnerable to malaria, pregnant women and children under age five, has also increased since 2004-05. More than half of pregnant women and 64% of children under age five sleep under an ITN, a major increase from the 1% of pregnant women and 16% of children who slept under an ITN in 2004-05.  

Childhood mortality has decreased since the 2004-05 TDHS. Currently, 51 children per 1,000 live births die before their first birthday, down from 68 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004-05. The number of children who die before their fifth birthday has also decreased, from 112 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004-05 to 81 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010 (under-five mortality).

HIV testing has more than tripled among men and has increased five-fold among women since the 2004-05 TDHS. One quarter of men age 15-49 have been tested for HIV and received the results in the past year, up from just 7% of men in 2004-05. Three in ten women have been tested for HIV and received the results in the past year, a sizeable increase from 6% of women in 2004-05.  

Despite the progress made in the areas of malaria, childhood mortality, and HIV, the 2010 TDHS found that more than four in ten Tanzanian children under age five are stunted, or too short for their age. Stunting is a sign of chronic malnutrition. The 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey also tested children for anaemia, a condition characterized by low haemoglobin levels in the blood and frequently caused by inadequate dietary intake. Nearly six in ten children under age five in Tanzania are anaemic.   

The 2010 TDHS relies on data collected from a sample of households which is representative of the whole population. The survey conducted from December 2009 to May 2010 and interviewed 9,623 households, 10,139 women age 15-49, and 2,527 men age 15-49.

The 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS) was implemented by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Office of the Chief Government Statistician - Zanzibar (OCGS); in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. ICF Macro, an ICF International company, provided technical assistance through various phases of the survey through the USAID-funded MEASURE DHS programme. Funding for the survey was provided by the Tanzania government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC), Department for International Development (DFID), World Health Organization (WHO)/Zanzibar, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Irish Aid.