May 7, 2013

Health Ministry To Distribute Mosquito Nets Fiday

The Ministry of Health will Friday roll out the distribution of 21 million insecticide treated mosquito nets throughout the country.

In a drive aimed at commemorating the World Malaria Day which was marked on April 25, residents of Soroti and Busia will be the first recipients after missing out in the last distribution of 7.2 million nets in 2010.

Other districts to follow are in the Central and Western regions, while the Northern part of Uganda will receive last, since it has just had a residual malaria spray.

While making the announcement in Kampala, Sarah Opendi, the Minister of State for Primary Health Care, said there is a threat of sliding back in the efforts gained against malaria, if investment in malaria prevention is not sustained or increased.

Opendi noted that although similar distributions have been done in the past, some people were using the mosquito nets for wrong purposes such as fishing and making wedding gowns.

According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, Uganda has the highest world malaria incidences with the rate of 478 cases in 1000 people per year.

According to the Ministry of Health, 304 people still die per day due to malaria related ailments. Data from the Ministry shows that Malaria is responsible for 40% outpatient visits and makes 5% of all hospital admissions and 14% of deaths.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Director General of Health Services, notes that the nets will target vulnerable groups including children below five years, pregnant women and people living with HIV and Aids.

Dr. Myers Lugemwa, the Deputy Programme Manager National Malaria Control at the Ministry of Health, said indoor residual spraying in Apac, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Oyam, Pader, Nwoya, Kole, Lamwo, Agago and Kumi out of the 112 districts have been successful.

He says it is expected that this distribution will triple the number of people protected from malaria.

The Ministry is emphasizing on the use of mosquito treated nets and early use of malaria prescriptions of Artemesinin combinations or ACT’s as well as rapid diagnostic tests.

The distribution exercise will run from May to November 2013.

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