Namutumba Malaria cases reduce by 46%

Apr 25, 2024

It reduced to 65% in the 2022/23 financial year and currently, it stands at 34% thanks to IRS and smarthome model intervention.

Team from Namutumba district health department, USAID and PMI during community health learning visitation with journalists. (Photos by paul Watala)

Paul Watala
Journalist @New Vision


Namutumba district has registered a 46 percent reduction in Malaria prevalence, thanks to the Indoor-Residual Spray (IRS) programme and smarthome model. IRS is the application of long-lasting insecticides in residences to either
 kill or repel mosquitoes. 

It is believed to be suitable for Uganda because mosquitoes that spread malaria parasites feed and rest indoors. 

The government introduced the IRS in the Natumba district in 2015 following an upsurge in malaria prevalence in the district. In 2012, malaria prevalence stood at 80% in the district. 

It reduced to 65% in the 2022/23 financial year and currently, it stands at 34% thanks to IRS and smarthome model intervention.

However, it again shot up to 65% in the 2018/2019 financial year when the program was put on hold. James Kirya, the Namutumba District Health Officer, explains that malaria cases kept rising throughout the year by up to 65%. 

He, however, says that they recorded a sharp decline in Malaria cases between December 2020 and December 2023 following the implementation of the IRS programme in May 2023. 

The IRS programme met resistance in other places, unlike Namutumba district because of support from the political wing that has always encouraged communities to embrace IRS and smarthome model interventions to fight malaria in their homes.

"Success of the malaria war in Namutumba is purely from the political wing that has been supportive and always encouraged our communities to embrace IRS interventions,Kirya said. 

"As a district, we ensured that communities trust VHTs. We made sure that VHTs' houses are sprayed before urging the rest of the community to embrace indoor residual spraying,he added.

Esereda Sanyu, the VHT of Nalukelo village in Bulange sub-county, Namutumba district, said expectant mothers and children are the most affected by malaria, and urged other community members to embrace the programme.

Jeremiah the Namutumba District malaria fork person explained that the new interventions are already being implemented in the district and registering success. 

According to him, the fight against malaria is a collective responsibility, which requires everyone to play a role.

Fighting malaria is not only swallowing medicine or sleeping under the nets. Nets have always been there but the cases of malaria were still high at 34% and yet people were sleeping under the nets!” He called on the community of Namutumba to embrace new interventions to have a healthy life.

The last IRS exercise conducted in May 2024 covered 95% representing over 93,0000 houses in the Namutemba district.

This accounts for 95% coverage of the district. The district pledged to continue conducting IRS exercises to achieve at least 97%.

Dr Charles Ntege, the principal entomologist at the health ministry, encouraged residents of Namutumba to continue embracing the ongoing IRS and other areas to mitigate the malaria prevalence rate, which stands at 46%.

Ntege dismissed the misconception associated with the programme: "The spray is safe as long as it doesn’t come into contact with the skin when still wet or in a gaseous state".

As part of its collaborative effort in the programme, the government has provided stores for the material being used, provided medicines for any allergies that may arise during spraying, and provided supervisors and Community Health Promoters security personnel among others to ensure a successful process.

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