Dr Frank, Medical Officer
About Dr Frank
Dr Frank, Medical Officer at Ujiji Health, is reminded daily of the impact malaria has on people’s lives. He‘s worked at the Ujiji Health Centre since 1992, a clinic offering a wide range of patient services, including pregnancy services.
In the past three decades, real progress has been made in the battle against the disease but there’s still more to do. Not only has Dr. Frank seen the number of malaria cases decline, but every person who arrives with malaria-like symptoms now gets a rapid diagnostic test (RDT).
"BEFORE WE HAD THE TEST, SOMETIMES YOU CAN'T TELL IF IT'S MALARIA. SOMETIMES BEFORE WE JUST WENT ON THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS."
The RDT has transformed malaria treatment because it means doctors and nurses no longer have to rely solely on symptoms to diagnose. In the past, people could be misdiagnosed and given the wrong medication.
The main challenge Dr Frank now experiences is an occasional delay in the supply of the RDT. As he explains “Now we’re even seeing an improvement in drug supply. What we need to further improve is that sometimes we go three to five days without this RDT. Maybe every three months we run low.”
The clinic also runs vital malaria education sessions for mothers and expectant mothers. Twice a week, nurses host the discussions in the waiting rooms.
Volunteers from the Tanzania Communication and Development Centre (TCDC), an organisation funded by the Comic Relief and GSK partnership, sometimes deliver the sessions as part of their work to fight malaria.
According to Dr Frank, treatment varies depending on age and severity. “With babies under five we admit them. With other children, if they have severe malaria we admit them. If it’s uncomplicated, we give them drugs.”