As a part of the online marketing campaign: The Full Elimination of Malaria Requires Everybody’s Effort – Dr. Atwine
In 2018, Uganda had the third highest malaria prevalence and the seventh highest percentage of malaria deaths according to the World Malaria Report 2019. According to the report, 30% of all people who attended health centers in Uganda that year had malaria.
As a result, the government has stepped up existing measures to reduce malaria prevalence in the country.
To date, the Ministry of Health notes that malaria was reduced from 42% in 2009 to 18% in 2014 and 9% in 2018.
Government intervention to reduce malaria prevalence
One of the measures taken by the Ugandan government to end malaria is the distribution of free long-life insecticidal nets (LLINs) to the public.
This year, through the Ministry of Health, the government carried out the “Unter den Netz” campaign, a national campaign that aims to cover all regions of the country in 6 waves. So far, three waves have been carried out, starting with the heavily polluted areas.
The World Health Organization notes that malaria control and eradication programs should prioritize the delivery of insecticide-treated nets or spraying indoor debris with high coverage and high standards, a move the ministry has implemented.
However, the ministry stresses that other methods that are also effective in reducing mosquito formation can also be used by households.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine, announced that they have begun enforcing the President’s policy that leaders in various categories, be it local communities or religious sections, should be involved in the fight against preventable diseases such as malaria.
“The countries that eradicated malaria did not need the efforts of their health ministries. They relied on everyone’s efforts to get rid of this disease, ”said Dr. Atwine.
She added that while the government has tried to reach most of the households that distribute free LLINs to people, the activity is extremely expensive.
In her opinion, other simple measures can still prevent malaria. However, this can only be possible if users know some basic information about them.
“Some people simply lack information. For example, some people can afford to buy paint. Being in your own house and able to paint with plascon can help reduce mosquitos. It has a composition that kills mosquitoes. So when you paint your house with it, you know you have been fumigating directly and that can take years, ”she revealed.
She advised those intending to paint their homes to use this paint as it can repel mosquitoes directly.
Atwine also noted that some disinfectants also contain mosquito repellants and these can add a protective layer against mosquito bites.
She asked health educators to reach out to her people, especially to various locations, to make sure that people in the communities were maintaining good sanitation.
“Health educators should leave their offices. walking through houses. Health inspectors play their part, “she said.
Atwine also warned that flood-hit areas are at greater risk, although there is hope that this will be resolved sooner.
“We took notice of Amuru because of climate change. the rain. However, it is not only Amuru who is affected by the flood. Even if you go to areas like Mukono, Buliisa, or areas near bodies of water, they will be badly affected. We hope it’s only for one season and it gets sorted, ”she said.
“We just have to improve communication. I believe that as soon as we further promote communication, the public will become aware and therefore become aware of some of these interventions, ”she added.
Government policies on malaria prevention
The Uganda Government Leadership Guide for Free Malaria Action in Uganda states that everyone has a role to play.
As a result, it is sometimes said that in the case of households, members are encouraged to sleep under treated mosquito nets every night all year round, check each family member for a fever, and report to Village Health Teams or health facilities for review or treatment. Guidance and follow-up as soon as fever is observed.
The handbook also urges members of the various households to follow health care professionals recommended malaria treatment, obtain correct information about malaria, regularly attend prenatal care for pregnant women, and take at least 3 doses of appropriate medicines after infection.