Monday, 20 February 2017
Government has launched the second countrywide distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets in a campaign aimed at eliminating malaria disease from Uganda.
The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who represented President Yoweri Museveni launched the second long lasting insecticide treated nets universal campaign in Apac District.
President Yoweri Museveni said if the Government of Uganda is to realise vision 2040, it must eliminate malaria.
He added that if Malaria is eliminated, the GDP will increase by over 30 times in the next couple of years enabling Uganda to not only attain a middle income economy but also address the sustainable development goal on Malaria earlier than expected.
Mr. Museveni noted that despite the success Uganda continues to have in combating Malaria, the country still suffers a great number of malaria registered deaths.
He indicated that a poor family in a malaria endemic area may spend up to 25% of the household income on Malaria prevention and treatment.
The President said Uganda loses USD 658 million per annum to treat malaria, which is equivalent to or more than what the country exports in terms of coffee.
“Despite the recent African Leaders’ Malaria Alliance (ALMA) award the country received a few weeks ago in Addis Ababa, Uganda still has the sixth highest number of annual deaths from Malaria in Africa, with immense socio-economic weigh down as reflected in the out of pocket expenditure on consultation fees, drugs, transport and subsistence production,” Mr Museveni said.
The President was however optimistic that Uganda can eliminate Malaria just as other parts of world had managed especially in African countries like Comoros, South Africa among others, if only it embraces the strategic interventions towards a malaria free Uganda under the able leadership of NRM.
He urged the people to ensure that they sleep under mosquito nets and also put the nets to proper use. He advised the people to have early treatment at health facilities, get rid of mosquito breeding areas, and carry out indoor residual spraying among other preventive measures.
Mr Museveni thanked all the development partners who contributed towards the purchase of the 24 million mosquito nets in a bid to eliminate malaria in Uganda.
The Minister of health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said malaria is still a major challenge in Uganda and leading cause of ill health, death and high expenditure at household level and by the government.
She implored the people to sleep under mosquito nets alongside practising other preventive measures in order to eliminate malaria in the country
“Apac bears a heavy burden of Malaria. People should therefore embrace the vision of eliminating malaria not only out of Apac but the entire country by sleeping under insecticide treated nets, carrying out indoor residual spraying among others,” Dr Aceng said.
The Development Partners who were present at the function including the World Health Organisation, US Ambassador, and British High Commissioner among others commended the country’s initiative to fight malaria and pledged their continued support towards the cause of the campaign.
They however echoed the need to increase financial assistance and funding towards malaria control by the government in order to realise a Malaria Free Uganda.
Apac LC5 Chairperson, Okae Bob pledged to monitor and ensure proper use of the mosquito nets under strict restrictions and guidance.
The Launch of the second universal Long Lasting Insecticide Treated nets (LLINs) campaign follows the first similar campaign which was launched in 2013 by President Museveni at Mulago hospital in Kampala which led to a major reduction in the malaria prevalence rate from 42% to 19%.
In the newly launched campaign, 24 million mosquito nets will be distributed throughout the country by the government of Uganda. One mosquito net will be given to at least two people in every household after registration. The life time of the treated mosquito net is three years or 20 washes.
Also present were the Minister of state for Primary Health Care, Dr. Joyce Moriku, Members of Parliament and government officials among others.
BY DOREEN NASASIRA