By Raymond Baguma
Both the United Kingdom and United States Governments have separately announced funding to support ongoing efforts to fight malaria in Uganda.
The announcements were made at the end of the one-year universal coverage campaign to distribute free mosquito nets to Ugandan households. The campaign was supported by the US and UK governments.
Alison Blackburne, the British High Commissioner to Uganda said, “The UK is happy to be providing a further UK£34 million (shs145 billion) to help Uganda take forward these, and other steps, over the next three years. This is a small part of the UK’s continuing firm and uninterrupted support to Uganda’s development.”
68 year old Eldina Namyalo receiving a mosquito net from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the American Ambassador to Uganda, Scott Scott DeLisi (right) , Health Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda (left) and State Minister for Health, Elioda Tumwesigye look on during the launch of distribution of free mosquito nets on Saturday 16th August 2014 at Mulago, Kampala. PHOTO/ Abu Mwesigwa
The US Ambassador to Uganda, Scott DeLisi also said that since 2006 the US Government has invested over US$200 million to fight malaria in Uganda and would commit a further $32 million funding in 2015.
The two envoys also asked the Ugandan government to increase funding to anti-malaria efforts, as well as creating partnerships with the private sector to fight malaria.
“The national strategic plan for fighting malaria is budgeted at over $300 million next year. I hope the government can build upon its proposed US$4 million commitment to that budget because, even with US, UK, and Global Fund engagement, funding will fall far short of the needed levels,” DeLisi noted.
In Uganda, malaria accounts for 15-20 percent of in-patient admissions, and 30-50 percent of out-patient attendance and 9-14 percent of all in-patient deaths in the country’s health facilities.
Residents of Kirombe zone A queuing to receive free mosquito nets on August 17th 2014 . PHOTO/ Ramadhan Abbey
Blackburne said that proper use of bed nets significantly reduces the number of deaths, and cases of malaria, and the universal coverage programme would save tens of thousands of children from dying over the next three years.
“Many thousands of families will be spared the unspeakable grief of losing a child. And those children will be able to contribute to building Uganda’s future,” Blackburne said.
Children of Kirombe zone A looking forward to receive free mosquito nets. PHOTO/ Ramadhan Abbey
Kampala, Wakiso register for free mosquito nets
Government to distribute free mosquito nets
Health ministry to distribute mosquito nets