- Under MAAS, the target is to attain a Malaria-Free country by 2030
- The Ministry of Health has developed ICT capacity to account for every single mosquito net
National—16, June 2020: Government says she will provide 27 million safe mosquito nets to all Ugandans in fight against malaria.
Flagging off first batch on Tuesday morning, Dr Diana Atwine who’s the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health distribution has been affected by lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have flagged-off distribution of Mosquito Nets to districts pending official launch. For the first time Global Fund and partners are entirely using government systems to implement a programme of this nature. We are grateful for the confidence developed and pledge optimal performance,” Dr Atwine said via Twitter.
She added: “We were not able to start as scheduled because of the lockdown, but now that it has been partially lifted, we can continue as planned. We will be distributing over 27,000,000m nets to all districts in Uganda. We expect to complete this exercise by the end of this calendar year.”
The first wave, she says, will go to 25 districts. “The 25 districts were selected depending on the disease burden. We are starting with districts that were affected by flooding in the Eastern region and those, most especially in Northern Uganda, that have recorded higher cases of malaria.”
According to the PS, the Ministry of Health has developed ICT capacity to account for every single mosquito net given to every single household through a robust mobile phone reporting system.
For all batches delivered to districts and down to sub-counties, “a detailed message will be sent to key stakeholders from National to Local area level for follow up,” she assured the country.
Uganda’s fight against malaria
Uganda has continued to make remarkable steps towards achieving a Malaria-free nation by reducing Malaria prevalence from 42% in 2009 to 19% in 2014. The steady reduction of cases is still seen in the continued reduction of Malaria cases and deaths in health facilities as seen in the Health Management Information System.
Last year, 2019, Alebtong district in Lango sub-region hosted an event to commemorate World Malaria Day (WMD) for Uganda under the global theme “Zero Malaria Status Starts with me.” The leaders told the population to make the elimination of Malaria everyone’s responsibility.
The global theme was home grounded and adapted as “It’s a household war, Chase Malaria to Zero” and the slogan as “Prevent the Bite”.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO Uganda), the general public was further advised to sleep under Insecticide Treated Mosquito nets every night, clear bushes, broken containers and stagnant water which are breeding sites for mosquitoes, especially in the rainy season.
In Uganda, Malaria is everyone’s business requiring mass action at all levels by all stakeholders, including households and communities. Under the Mass Actions against Malaria (MAAS), the target is to attain a Malaria-Free country by 2030.
According to the Ministry of Health’s Malaria Quarterly Bulletin 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, in May (same year), the country experienced a malaria epidemic that affected over 80 districts. The epidemic was attributed to the prolonged rains and aging of the insecticide treated long lasting nets (ILLNs.) The most affected were districts in northern Uganda.
In fighting the epidemic, the Ministry supplied emergency anti-malarial commodities to over 77 districts, distributed 582,659 mosquito nets to affected districts across the county, and conducted blood transfusion drives in conduction with rotary and Uganda blood transfusion service.
Other interventions were: support to 50 districts to hold epidemic task force meetings, 5M dollars was mobilized for malaria commodities from Global fund.