Health

Mosquito Net Usage has Immensely Reduced Uganda’s Malaria Burden – Global Fund’s Dr. Katamba

The ministry of health adopted the distribution of mosquito nets as a measure of preventing malaria. Through the Under the Net campaign, various people in their respective households have already received their Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINSs).

The campaign is in the fourth wave of net distribution which is projected to cover districts including; Pada, Madi Okollo, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Nwoya, Obongi, Omoro, Packwach, Terego, Yumbe, Zombo, Kwania, Ssembabule, Mubende, Kassanda, Buvuma, Namayingo, Kamuli, Busia, Bugweri and Nakasongola.

Dr Henry Katamba, the Global Fund Facilitator revealed that that the country has come a long way in fighting malaria.

“We had malaria for very many years even at the pre colonial time and it was recorded a lot around the 1940s coming to this current year. We started doing surveys in 2005-2006. If you refer to this malaria indicator survey, they started knowing how big the problem was,” Katamba said.

He said that at that time, in every 10 people who were tested for malaria, you would find 4 people infected with the malaria parasites. As a preventive measure, treated mosquito nets were distributed to reduce malaria occurrences.

“Around that time (2007/2008), we started distributing bed nets, but we were targeting pregnant women and young children of 5 years and below. We noticed that there was a drop. In the next malaria survey that we did, we noticed that in every 10 people, 2 had the malaria parasites, meaning that the interventions that we had put in place had actually helped in reducing the problem,” he explained.

He further revealed that the malaria survey that was done in 2019 showed that in every 10 people that they had tested, 1 had the malaria parasite.

Although there is a drop, Katamba said, mosquitoes can easily transmit parasites from one person to another very easily.

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“The malaria burden has been reducing over time and when you refer on what we see for example the year that we are ending, on average, we treat approximately 16 million people with malaria.  This means that the vector that is carrying the parasite is multiplying and it is quite efficient in transferring the parasite from one person to another,” he explained.

He, therefore, made a reminder that the prevention component entails anything that can help in reducing the numbers of vectors out there that can carry the parasite from one person to another, and sleeping under Long Lasting Insecticide Nets is one of them.

“The government of Uganda has made sure that ownership of mosquito nets at the household level increases, and when ownership increases, the actual usage also increases,” he added.

 

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