Rwanda will begin distributing its own homemade mosquito nets this month to cut imports and zero malaria cases by 2030. With local production, Rwanda will cut its import costs for mosquito nets by 50%.
Of the 7.5 million bed nets to be sold this year, 3.5 million bed nets will be manufactured on site – thanks to the completion of LTC Ltd. – a subsidiary of Garment Vision Ltd.
The facility in the Kigali Special Economic Zone has a capacity of 16,200 mosquito nets per day or 486,000 per month. The aim is to produce 1.7 million treated mosquito nets per month as soon as they are fully functional.
Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, Minister of State for Primary Health Care, says a large number of mosquito nets will be distributed this year.
“We want to use different types of mosquito nets and distribution will start this week. As our local capacity (to make nets) increases, we will use more bed nets made in Rwanda, ”he said.
Last year, Rwanda distributed about 6 million bed nets, which were imported at a cost of $ 17 million (nearly Rwf 17 billion).
The need for imported mosquito nets resulted in a dubious mosquito purchase fraud in 2013, with 2.6 million counterfeit mosquito nets worth Rwf 9 billion being imported by a Danish company (Netprotect) which were distributed to the population.
The distribution survey plan in Rwanda typically takes into account the current estimated population of around 12 million people, which is used for the distribution of a ratio of one bed net for every two people.
Those eligible to receive such bed nets for free include Ubudehe category (1, 2) people who need to collect the nets at the nearest health centers.
“We are awaiting instructions from the Cabinet on what categories to consider, but most of the benefactors are expectant mothers and children and are generally net per household,” said Dr. Aimable Mbituyumuremyi, Department Manager for Malaria and Other Parasitic Diseases at the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC).
The distribution of the bed nets comes at a time when Rwanda is now introducing the use of drones to spray non-insecticides in mosquito breeding areas across the country.
This campaign plans to use Bacillus thuringiensis serotype israelensis (Bti) – a group of bacteria used as biological control agents for the larval stages of certain insects, including mosquitoes.
Malaria statistics show improved measures to contain the disease while reducing malaria cases, infections and deaths.
Malaria infections fell from 4.8 million cases in 2015/2016 to 3.7 million infections in 2018/2019.
Malaria deaths fell from 663 to 264 cases over the same period.