By Clare Muhindo and Taddeo Bwambale
Distribution of free mosquito nets to residents of Kampala and Wakiso districts will take place on August 16 and 17, the Ministry of Health has said.
Registration of beneficiaries will be done on July 26 and 27, the state minister for primary healthcare, Sarah Opendi confirmed yesterday.
Kampala and Wakiso are the last districts to get free insecticide treated mosquito nets to every household, under a government campaign to reduce malaria cases.
Presenting a report on the distribution exercise yesterday, the Minister said close to 20 million nets had so far been distributed to 76 districts.
Dr Myers Lugemwa, the team leader of the Malaria Control Programme said the campaign had significantly reduced Malaria cases in areas where the nets have been distributed.
“Reports from districts show that there are fewer cases of severe malaria being recorded where nets have been distributed. In some districts, Malaria drugs have expired,” Lugemwa said.
He said the health ministry was compiling reports about Malaria infection rates in beneficiary districts to assess the impact of the intervention on malaria control.
Malaria is still the major cause of sickness and death in Uganda, claiming about 100 lives a day.
Children under five years of age and pregnant women are the most-at-risk population.
Lugemwa warned against misuse of the nets saying suspects could be charged with the offense of misusing government property.
Last year, government purchased 21 million nets with funding from the Global Fund, the US President’s Malaria Initiative/DFID and World Vision Uganda.
A total of 106 districts have so far received free mosquito nets, Opendi said. At least 5.5 million nets will be distributed in Kampala and Wakiso districts.
The nets compliment 7.2 million nets that were distributed in 2010 under Global Fund Round 7, Phase One of the Malaria Grant which targeted under-five children and pregnant women.
The nets are distributed to communities by members of the Village Health Teams (VHTs) with support from the LCs.
Most districts in Eastern and central Uganda have received the nets.
Tips on using the nets
• The mosquito nets being supplied have a lifespan of up to three years if kept well.
• They can be washed up to 20 times.
• The nets must not be hung under sunshine to dry because it may reduce the potency of the insecticide impregnated in them.
• Fix the net to cover your bed by hanging it up using nails or strings.
• If the net gets torn, sew it and ensure there are no holes in it.
• Keep nets far away from fire as they are highly flammable
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