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Ensure continuity of free mosquito nets

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd August 2009 03:00 AM

THE Government, United Nations and development partners are making efforts to ensure that all Ugandans have access to a free mosquito net by the end of next year. The target is to eliminate malaria deaths by 2015. This is an excellent opportunity to fight

THE Government, United Nations and development partners are making efforts to ensure that all Ugandans have access to a free mosquito net by the end of next year. The target is to eliminate malaria deaths by 2015. This is an excellent opportunity to fight a disease that kills between 70,000 and 110,000 Ugandan children annually. However, it is not as easy as it appears.

There is no shortage of greedy, corrupt and self-conceited individuals in society. Water-tight procedures are needed to ensure that some of the nets don’t end up in markets or neighbouring countries. The distribution system should be transparent and the nets branded to minimise fraud. Citizens should be taught how to use, look after and ensure durability of the nets for at least their expected lifespan.

But above all, Government should plan for the continuity of the project. Nets have a life span of 3-5 years on average. The health ministry should start now to plan for re-treatment, replacement and new distributions of nets to cater for population increase.

Cases of people cutting up bed nets and using them for fishing and for making wedding gowns have been reported in the past. There should be stern punishments for such abuses, even if it means making new laws.

Ensure continuity of free mosquito nets

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