As a part of the community marketing campaign: Position of native leaders within the combat in opposition to malaria

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The government of Uganda has taken measures to reduce the prevalence of malaria in the country. The most recent is the distribution of Long-Life Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) to every household in the different regions of Uganda.

The Ministry of Health began distributing durable insecticide treated nets as part of a massive campaign. The “Unter den Netz” campaign aims to encourage people to use the Internet in order to end malaria in Uganda.

According to study statistics by scientists, sleeping under treated mosquito nets has proven to be one of the most effective methods of preventing malaria.

A 2019 malaria journal by Musiime et al. Malar J noted that notable advances in malaria control over the past decade can be attributed to the massive use of malaria control measures, including long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and interior debris spraying (IRS).

The role of local executives in network distribution

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with local community leaders, has so far completed two phases of net redistribution and is preparing for the third wave to cover the counties that have experienced heavy rainfall and flooding that pose a great risk to massive mosquito breeding.

We reached out to a local leader to analyze the process of acquiring a mosquito net and the role of the leader in raising awareness and delivering the nets to beneficiaries.

Amina Namagembe is the Chairperson LC 3 of Bwaise 2 in the Kawempe Division. She noted that there is a procedure that is followed in distributing and receiving the treated mosquito nets.

“The nets are brought in so that every community gets theirs. Then the chairmen are asked to collect nets for their specific villages. However, people are registered earlier before the nets are distributed, ”she said.

As the Chair, it is your job to mobilize people to register every person in their households. This also includes making them aware of the correct use and benefits of sleeping under the mosquito nets.

Village Health Workers are also working with local managers to make sure the exercise goes smoothly.

Once chairs are present in each zone to maintain the networks, they ensure that their zone is given the correct number to cover each household.

“People were previously registered so we know the total number of nets each zone needs to receive,” she said.

Unlike this year, she said that in recent years a certain group of people has been prioritized, including children under 5 and pregnant women, because they are more prone to the disease.

However, this year nets will be distributed to all Ugandans regardless of their age.

Challenges

Ms. Namagembe explained that the common challenges are that when the nets are distributed, people will be absent, which will require the village leaders or health workers to make another trip.

“In cases where mosquito nets were only made available to households with children under 5 and pregnant women, we were faced with challenges as everyone wanted a share of the nets. It was hard to convince them, ”said Namagembe.

Malaria prevention in a water-protected area

Ms. Namagembe encouraged people in Bwaise, an area known to be flooded, to prioritize good sanitation in their homes.

“People should make sure they drain all stagnant water around their homes as this is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Those who still have their mosquito nets should take care of them and use them appropriately while they wait for the new nets to be distributed by the government, ”she repeated.

She also said that malaria prevalence among the people of Bwaise has decreased as few cases have been recorded.

“In my region, I have not heard of serious malaria cases or deaths. besides the normal illness, ”she confirmed.

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