BY RAYMOND BAGUMA
Uganda has made strides in fighting malaria, with more households having access to insecticide-treated nets today, compared to 10 years ago.
According to the newly released world malaria report, the percentage of Ugandan households owning at least one net has risen from 2% in 2000, to 46% in 2010.
Among the most at risk population, at least 33% of children under the age of five sleep under treated nets, as well as 77% of pregnant women.
However, the report shows that the use of the nets among Ugandans declined with age. The report shows that the nets were mostly used by Ugandans aged between 25 and 29 years, while children aged between 10 and 14 years and adults above 60 years, rarely sleep under mosquito nets.
The report, released by the World Health Organisation, explains that 13% of Ugandans between 25 and 29-years use nets, while only 3% of the ten to 14-year-olds use them.
Also, about 5% of Ugandan adults above 60 years sleep under mosquito nets. The report also notes that the most common methods to diagnose malaria in Uganda is the microscope blood testing, rather than the rapid diagnostic kits.
The report also shows that public health facilities provide first-line treatment of artemisinin-based combination therapy, while private ones offer non-artemisinin treatment.
Overall, the report notes that a massive scale-up in malaria control programmes between 2008 and 2010 had resulted in the provision of enough treated nets to protect over 578 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.
Indoor residual spraying, the report shows, had protected 75 million people, who were at risk in 2009. According statistics, Uganda records an estimated 12 million cases of malaria a year.
On average, 10.7 million cases were reported between 2004 and 2008.