The residents of the Busoga sub-region continue to oppose the use of mosquito nets, attributing it to cultural norms.
The Iganga District Health Officer (DHO), Dr. David Muwanguzi said Monday residents have a negative attitude towards sleeping under mosquito nets because they believe they will beautify their homes.
“A large percentage of our people do not have beds and mattresses to tie these nets in as recommended by the Ministry of Health,” he said.
Dr. Muwanguzi said the malaria prevalence in the Busoga sub-region is still high due to the presence of religions that still teach people not to sleep under the nets, while others simply say they feel uncomfortable. He said only 60 percent of his district’s residents sleep under a mosquito net.
The Bugiri DHO, Dr. Stephen Kiirya Bulolo, blamed the constant use of mosquito nets for the high prevalence of malaria in the district. “After people got the nets, they used them for fishing, catching white ants, and covering cots,” he said.
According to Dr. Kiirya, Bugiri has the highest percentage of malaria prevalence [23 per cent] in the Busoga sub-region, a trend that he attributed to more breeding grounds in lakes and swamps.
“The malaria prevalence in Bugiri is 23 percent compared to other districts like Namutumba with 9 percent. This means that out of 10 people, six tests positive for malaria,” said Dr. Kiirya.
Mayuge’s DHO, Dr. Charles Nabangi said, “People need to be made aware before receiving the nets.”
In Namutumba, the DHO said Dr. James Kiirya: “Our people are lacking information and need to be reminded of the importance of sleeping under a mosquito net.”
Ms. Edith Kakose, a village health team member from Kigalama Township in Namutumba sub-county, said people fear using mosquito nets and claim it will render women sterile.
“In most homes, the husband only sleeps under a mosquito net while the wife does not sleep,” she said.
Mr William Musoke, a councilor in Bugobi sub-county, Namutumba, said the government should monitor the use of nets.
“I am sure if the government tracks these networks, a lot of people will use them properly,” he said.