Uganda's fight against malaria: Ministry wants by-laws to curb misuse of mosquito nets – The Ankole Times

Uganda’s fight against malaria: Ministry wants by-laws to curb misuse of mosquito nets

Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Rise in malaria cases blamed on misuse of mosquito nets
The Ankole Times
2 Min Read

The Ministry of Health in Uganda is calling on local government leaders to enact by-laws against the misuse of mosquito nets. The ministry says that despite years of campaigns and projects to distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets, some beneficiaries continue to misuse them for purposes such as fencing off gardens, poultry farms, and fishing.

Dr. Diana Atwine, the Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, said that this year the government, with support from the Global Fund and Against Malaria Foundation, is distributing 28.5 million nets. The goal is to reduce malaria morbidity through achieving universal coverage with mosquito nets.

Atwine said that by-laws are needed to deter people from misusing mosquito nets. She noted that Uganda is ranked third in Africa in terms of malaria disease burden, behind Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo. WHO statistics also confirm that Uganda has the world’s highest malaria incidence rate of 478 cases per 1,000 people per year.

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Malaria is a leading cause of sickness and death in Uganda. It is responsible for up to 40 percent of all outpatient visits, 25 percent of hospital admissions, and 14% of all hospital deaths. The malaria death rate in Uganda is estimated to be between 70,000 and 100,000 deaths per year.

The economic loss in Uganda due to malaria annually is over $500 million. In 2021, WHO reported that there were an estimated of 13 million malaria cases and over 19,600 estimated deaths in the country.

Atwine said that by-laws against the misuse of mosquito nets would help to protect the public health and save lives. She urged local leaders to take action to enact these by-laws.

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