The Ministry of Health has set up a national task force to stop government abuse of mosquito nets.
The teams are led by Resident District Commissioners, who are represented by district health officers. Each district team is made up of committee members who include: district vector controllers and district monitoring officers.
Task forces for Unterländer have also been established to closely monitor operations at the community level. The sub-county task force consists of seven members led by the sub-county chief, health educator, health assistant, and a community representative.
The ministry says the village-level task forces will be supported by the community council (LCIs), village health teams, and the police, who will oversee the community-level operations.
According to the Ministry of Health, the teams will monitor rampant mosquito net abuse. This is because many people use government-provided mosquito nets to protect their cots, sew wedding dresses, or even use them for fishing.
Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the director general of health services, said they had decided to set up task forces to stop the abuse of networks that usually follow mass campaigns.
He says the village health teams will move around the communities to make sure people are using the nets properly. Dr. In this way, Mwebesa says they believe that people will better use them for their intended purpose.
“Village teams have been asked to go door to door to monitor the use of these nets. They were also commissioned to continuously sensitize the municipalities to the correct use of networks, network maintenance, network repair and the conversion of the network, ”he said.
The task force will also investigate cases of theft or resale of the nets. “We have received a number of reports that some random people recently sold distributed mosquito nets to raise funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Mwebesa in a statement.
Health ministry data shows the number of malaria deaths and cases in the country has increased over the past year. According to the Ministry of Health, the prevalence of malaria skyrocketed in the country last year and is now 15 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 8.3 in 2018/19.
Dr. Jimmy Opigo, the head of the malaria control program, says the rise in cases is due to heavy rainfall and broken mosquito nets.
“Using mosquito nets is one of the easiest ways Uganda has reduced the spread of malaria. However, last year some of the nets had grown old while others had holes and that probably led to what we saw, ”he added.
The government is running the third universal campaign to prolong long-life insecticide-treated mosquito nets to reduce malaria mortality and morbidity from the use of mosquito nets.
By February 2021, $ 27.5 million is expected to be spent across the country. So far, a total of 92 districts have been covered in three waves that began in August 2020.
In the next wave of the campaign, the mosquito nets will be distributed. Nakasongola, Bugweri, Busia, Kamuli, Namayingo, Buvuma, Kassanda, Mubende, Ssembabule, Kwana, Zombo, Yumbe, Terego, Pakwach, Omoro, Obongo, Nwoya, Nebbi, Moyo, Maracha, Madi Okollo and lastly Pader.