By Goodluck Musinguzi
The Ministry of Health has announced a second wave for the distribution of treated mosquito nets in most districts of South Western Uganda and parts of Central of Uganda.
This comes after the first wave covered 25 districts that were selected depending on the disease burden and those affected by flooding In Eastern Uganda and Northern Uganda that recorded higher cases of malaria.
Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary announced the second wave and called upon all people in these districts to register with Local Council One Committees to get nets from 9th to 21st August 2020.
When launching the flagging of the distribution of mosquito nets, she revealed that 27.5 million mosquito nets across the country will be given out. Malaria is responsible for more illness and death than any other single disease in Uganda.
Dr Diana Atwine said malaria cases diagnosed and treated increased by 56% in the first quarter of this year.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,” she said.
The exercise in Eastern Uganda covered Serere, Soroti, Kalaki, Kaberamaido, Pallisa, Bukwo, Kween ,Kapchorwa ,Alebtong, Amolatar, Budaka, Bududa, Bugiri, Bulambuli, Butaleja, Butebo, Dokolo, Kibuku, Lira, Mbale, Namisindwa, Namutumba, Otuke and Tororo districts.
A total of 4,371,259 nets were given out in the region, to enable residents to protect themselves against Malaria, the leading cause of deaths, accounting for over 30 per cent of outpatient visits and 20 per cent of hospital admissions across the country.
In South Western Uganda include Kabale, Kisoro, Rukiga,Rubanda,Rukungiri,Mbarara, Mitooma, Ntungamo, Rwampara, Isingiro, Sheema,Buhweju,Bundibugyo,Bunyangabo,Bushenyi,Kabalore,Kakumiro,Kalangala,Kasese,Kazo,Kiboga, Kiruhura,Kyankwazi, Lyantonde,Nakaseke,Rubirizi and others.
According to MoH report of 2004, malaria death ranged between 70,000 to 100,000 before it was reduced in 2018.
Malaria is responsible for more illness and death than any other single disease in Uganda. People with low immunity, such as pregnant women, young children and people living with HIV/AIDS, are particularly vulnerable to morbidity and mortality associated with malaria.
But all people living in Uganda are at risk of being infected with malaria parasites and suffering from resulting illness and potential fatality.
For instance,bed net coverage was 92% in 2014. However due to wear and tear, this dropped to 75% in 2016. Government is now undertaking another mass distribution with the objective of reaching 100%.