The Government of Uganda is set to commence the massive distribution of mosquito nets in Kampala and Wakiso districts starting this Friday, January 8.
Malaria prevalence in Kampala and Wakiso District remains as low as 1 percent.
However, the disease kills at least 4 people in these two districts daily.
Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine said the distribution is part of Government’s move to eliminate Malaria in Uganda by the year 2030.
“A total of over three million (3,000,000) mosquito nets covering one million two hundred (1,200,000) households will be distributed during the distribution exercise which will take place from Friday, 8th January 2021 to Wednesday, 13th January 2021, in Kampala and Wakiso,” said Atwine during a press conference in Kampala this Thursday.
President Museveni is expected to officially launch the distribution of mosquito nets on Sunday, January 10.
The third Universal Coverage Campaign for the distribution of Long-Lasting Insecticide treated mosquito Nets (LLINs) dubbed, ‘Under the Net’, started in August 2020 and is expected to ensure the distribution of 27.5 million LLINs throughout the country.
“The main objective of this campaign is to increase access and ownership of nets in communities across the country. This campaign is further expected to create a culture of net use and sustain the gains achieved by the previous campaigns which led to a reduction in the Malaria prevalence. This will also be an opportunity to educate the population on mosquito net use, care, repair and repurposing,” said Dr Atwine.
To-date, Government has distributed over 20 million nets in 122 districts across the country. The project is being overseen by international audit firm, KPMG.
Following the distribution in Kampala and Wakiso, only 9 districts will be left to receive mosquito nets in February 2021.
These districts include: Muyabe, Jinja, Kaliro, Luuka, Kayunga, Muyuge, Kyegegwa, Kibale, Mukono, Kagadi, Buyende and Iganga.
How the exercise will be conducted
During the distribution, the five divisions of Kampala will be used as the operational units. These are Kawempe, Makindye, Rubaga, Kampala Central and Nakawa Division.
In Wakiso, the major units of operation for the distribution will be; Bunamwaya, Busukuma, Bweyogerere, Central Division, Entebbe Divison A, Entebbe Division B, Gombe Division, Kajjansi Town Council, Kakiri Town Council, Kasangati Town Council, Katabi Town council, Kyengera, Masajja, Masuulita, Namugongo, Nansana, Ndejje, Wakiso district Rural and Wakiso Town Council.
The distribution exercise involves registration of beneficiaries in all households followed by the distribution of mosquito nets.
Health Ministry teams comprising of the Village Health Team members and Neighborhood watch will come to your household on Friday 08th and Saturday 09th January, 2021 to register all the members of your household.
Distribution of mosquito nets will take place on Sunday 10th and Monday 11th January 2021 while following all COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The distribution points will be communicated by your VHTs.
Why Kampala and Wakiso Now?
Distribution for Kampala and Wakiso Districts was initially slated for December 2020.
However, due to the festive season and predictions of the prolonged rainy season in January from the Meteorological Department, Ministry of Health deferred the distribution of mosquito nets in the aforementioned districts. Meteorologists have advised that Kampala and Wakiso will remain wet.
Atwine said there is need to protect Kampala and Wakiso residents against Malaria especially with the non immune people having visited upcountry for Christmas.
“So this distribution exercise is likely to avert a Malaria upsurge in the two districts. Additionally, as a Ministry, we re-prioritized distribution of mosquito nets to cover districts that were affected by the floods. Increased rains and floods are associated with increased rates of Malaria,” said Dr Atwine.
She appealed to the public to cooperate and Register with the Village Health team members and neighborhood watch when they visit homes for registration on Friday and Saturday this week and also report to the designated Distribution points and pick mosquito nets.
“Sleep under a mosquito net every night to protect yourself from contracting Malaria. These mosquito nets should be used throughout the year, even when there are fewer mosquitoes, e.g. during the dry season, hang the net outside in a shade for 24 hours before using it. Remember to take good care of your mosquito net by keeping it clean and sewing any holes,” said Dr Atwine.
The public was urged to always seek medical assistance from qualified health personnel in case they notice signs of Malaria; avoid self-medication; always complete the dosage given and clear bushes and stagnant water around their homes, as these are breeding sites for mosquitoes
The campaign is supported with funds from the Government of Uganda, the Global Fund, Against Malaria Foundation, UK Government/DFID and USAID/Presidential Malaria Initiative.