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Gov’t cannot afford a mosquito net per personPublish Date: Dec 03, 2013
Gov’t cannot afford a mosquito net per person
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People receiving mosquito nets. PHOTO/Violet Nabatanzi

By John Semakula

Two members of a family in Uganda will share one mosquito net under the on-going countrywide distribution campaign aimed at reducing malaria by 50%.

Health ministry spokesperson Lukia Nakamatte told Vision online that government can only afford to give out one mosquito net to two persons under arrangement.

“Uganda is not a very rich country to afford giving out a mosquito net to every person,” Nakamatte said.

She noted that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the universal mosquito net coverage is two nets for every two persons.   
Nakamatte was responding to concerns from a cross section of members of public who want government to give every person a mosquito net instead of one for two persons.

“Every family member is registered by the Village Health Teams (VHT) before the distribution of the mosquito nets, but we can only give out one net to two persons,” Nakamatte said.  

In areas where mosquito nets have been distributed, VHT team members reportedly found it hard explaining how one net would be shared by two people sleeping on different beds.

Lukia Nakazi, a member of on Bulika village VHT in Nama Sub County, Mukono District, said they were not told why they were giving out one mosquito to two persons so they found it hard to explain it to the public.  

“Before distributing the mosquito nets, announcement ran on radio that each member of the public who registered would get a net,” Nakazi said, “But we were later told to give one net to two people,” Nakazi said.

Although Uganda is about 36 million people, Nakamatte said that government had only secured 21 million mosquito nets which the population must share.

“I received eight mosquito nets because I had registered 8 members of my family but they came and collected the four nets, saying I was entitled to only four,” said Cate Kisakye.

There are also concerns that not all the intended beneficiaries will get their share of the nets as some members of public have not gone to collect them from distribution centers.

Gerald Segane, a resident of Butebe Village in Mukono Central Division said that his family has not yet received the mosquito nets because the day he went to collect them he was told that the date had changed and he got very busy to go back.

Nakamatte said the distribution campaign slated to end in March, will see 21 million insecticide treated mosquito nets given out.

She added that a mop up exercise will be conducted to ensure that those who missed out can get their share.


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