Kampala. A total of 25 million mosquito nets worth Shs331.5 billion will be distributed in the fresh countrywide campaign against malaria.
According to Ms Sarah Opendi, the State minister for Primary Healthcare, the nets will be distributed starting August this year and were procured with funding from the Global Fund, the Department for International Development (DFID), President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and Against Malaria Foundation.
“Uganda ranks 6th among African countries with high malaria related mortality cases and has one of the highest reported malaria transmission rates in the world,” Ms Opendi said during a media dialogue on Friday in Kampala ahead of the World Malaria Day.
“However, ministry of Health continues to undertake the various interventions to further reduce the prevalence. Among them is use of long lasting insecticide treated nets. The campaign dubbed ‘Second universal coverage with long lasting insecticide treated nets’ will see 25 million mosquito nets distributed starting August this year,” she added.
Third time drive
This is the third time that the government is carrying out mass mosquito net distribution.
Mr Medard Rukaari, a technical officer at National Malaria Control Programme, said in 2009/2010, at least 7.2 million mosquito nets and 22 million in 2013/2014 were distributed.
Mr Rukaari added that the nets expire after three years which is why the distribution happens every after that period.
On who is eligible to get the nets, Ms Opendi said the procedure used in the previous distribution at local government level will still be used in the upcoming net distribution.
Dr Jimmy Opigo, the national malaria control programme manager, said the exercise was one of the interventions government was undertaking to fight with the leading cause of death especially in pregnant women and children under five years.
“There is going to be indoor residual spraying in the 10 original districts in northern Uganda where the campaign was first put. Currently, 14 districts are undergoing spraying and we are hoping that by 2020, 50 districts across the country with the highest malaria prevalence would have been sprayed,” Mr Opigo said.
The dialogue is one of the events set to mark the malaria week ahead of the World Malaria day celebrations which will take place next week under the theme: “Prevent, treat and test” in Lira District.