Up to 600 lost lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets supplied by the Health ministry for distribution to households in Akwang Sub County in Kitgum district have disappeared without a trace. The nets disappeared from the sub county stores shortly after they were delivered on May 26th for distribution on June 7th and 8th.
Captain Okot Santos Lapolo, Kitgum Resident District Commissioner-RDC says that he learnt of the disappearance of the nets when unexpected shortage emerged in Akwang Sub County despite the delivery note indicating that excess bales had been supplied to the sub county.
Lapolo says that he immediately instituted an inquiry into the disappearance on the mosquito nets as he monitored the progress of the exercise. He says that his investigation found out that another 10 bales were supplied in excess to Kitgum Town council and 3 to Kitgum Matidi Sub County. He says the 13 bales were securely recovered except 15 bales that went missing from Akwang Sub County, which he attributes to foul play at the district.
Kitgum district received 3,650 bales of long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets out of which 3,632 were distributed. Captain Lapolo says 18 bales have remained untouched and will be returned to the ministry of health according to guidelines. He says the 10 surplus bales recovered from Kitgum Town council were sent to Akwang Sub County to make good for the 15 bales that disappeared.
Patrick Okello Lumumba, the Police Officer leading the investigation says up to 280 bales were delivered to the sub county store compared to only 265 bales that were available on distribution day. The missing 15 bales have never been recovered to date. Okello says police has made good progress in recovering the lost mosquito nets by recording statements from parties involved except some two people who supplied them.
Okello says once the investigations are complete, the implicated official will appear in court on charges of theft of government property contrary to section 254 (1) and 261 of the penal code Act. John Bosco Komakech, the Kitgum District Malaria Focal Point Person says besides the theft, the distribution went on well. He says he is still harmonizing the list of beneficiaries to ascertain the exact number.
According to Komakech, Malaria prevalence in the district is dramatically declining, thanks to the adherence to treatment, public awareness and the distribution of the long lasting treated mosquito nets.