The usage of the mosquito internet has immensely decreased the malaria burden in Uganda – Dr. Katamba from the International Fund
The Ministry of Health has approved the distribution of mosquito nets as a measure to prevent malaria. As part of the Under the Net campaign, various people in their respective households have already received their long-life insecticidal nets (LLINS).
The campaign is in the fourth wave of net distribution, which is expected to cover districts including: Pada, Madi Okollo, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Nwoya, Obongi, Omoro, Packwach, Terego, Yumbe, Zombo, Kwania, Ssembabule, Mubende, Kassanda, Buvuma, Namayingo, Kamuli, Busia, Bugweri and Nakasongola.
Dr. Henry Katamba, the Global Fund Facilitator, announced that the country has come a long way in fighting malaria.
“We had malaria for a very long time in the pre-colonial era and there was a lot recorded around the 1940s that came into this current year. We started doing surveys in 2005-2006. If you refer to this Malaria Indicator Survey you will know how big the problem is, ”said Katamba.
He said that out of 10 people tested for malaria at the time, 4 people were infected with the malaria parasites. As a preventive measure, treated mosquito nets were distributed to reduce the incidence of malaria.
“Around this time (2007/2008) we started handing out bed nets, but we did target pregnant women and young children under 5. We noticed that there was a drop. In the next malaria survey we conducted, we found that out of 10 people, 2 had malaria parasites, which means that the interventions we carried out actually helped reduce the problem, ”he explained.
He also revealed that the malaria survey, conducted in 2019, found that out of 10 people tested, 1 had a malaria parasite.
Although there is a drop, Katamba said, mosquitoes can easily transmit parasites from one person to another.
“The burden of malaria has decreased over time and if you relate to what we see, for example, in the year we average out, we treat about 16 million people with malaria. This means that the vector that carries the parasite will multiply and the parasite can be transmitted from one person to another very efficiently, ”he explained.
He therefore recalled that the prevention component includes anything that can help reduce the number of vectors that can carry the parasite from one person to another, and that sleeping under long-lasting insecticide nets is one of them.
“The government of Uganda has seen the ownership of mosquito nets increase at the household level, and as ownership increases, so does actual consumption,” he added.