Photo credit: John-Michael Maas, Darby Communications
16 Apr 2012
By Martha Lemnge, Director of the National Institute for Medical Research at Tanga, and Communications Officer, Tanga/Korogwe, Tanzania

Malaria has affected me and my family in so many ways. I can readily recall the last serious malaria attack I had, which occurred 15 years ago while visiting my mother in a village in Moshi, Tanzania. I had contracted malaria while in Muheza for field work, just before traveling to Moshi for my holiday. During that malaria episode, I spent two days in bed; this was despite getting treatment with chloroquine from the local hospital. My daughter, who was accompanying me, spent most of her holiday caring for me, as I was feverish and vomiting, and my whole body was itchy as a reaction to the malaria drug.

Life in Korogwe and the rest of Tanzania will be very different when a malaria vaccine becomes available, especially for vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women. Instead of suffering, they can look forward to enjoying good health and productive lives. I am looking forward to a time in our community where mothers and children will never need to be admitted to hospitals due to malaria.