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Govt to re-launch free mosquito net distribution campaign

The free mosquito net distribution campaign will be launched during the World Malaria Day celebrations on April 25, 2023, in Bugiri District.

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health is set to re-launch the Mosquito Net Distribution campaign to reduce the chances of Ugandans contracting Malaria.

The free mosquito net distribution campaign will be launched during the World Malaria Day celebrations on April 25, 2023, in Bugiri District.

Under the campaign, the ministry targets to have all citizens sleep under a mosquito net every night to prevent malaria.

According to the Ministry of Health, sleeping under a mosquito net can reduce one’s chances of contracting Malaria by 60%.

In 2020, Uganda’s Ministry of Health completed an eight-month nationwide distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets in a renewed fight against malaria.

A total of 27.5 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets were distributed in the campaign, dubbed “Under the net campaign,”

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said, the ministry prioritized distribution of mosquito nets as a key intervention for malaria control and prevention every 3 years for people to get their nets replaced.

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“We have had some districts recording a high number of Malaria cases so we want to ensure that their nets get replaced and strengthen awareness on how to use nets and other aspects of Malaria prevention. We shall be launching the campaign officially so people need to keep following the media for when the campaign will be in their districts.” Ainebyoona said.

The nets distribution campaigns have contributed to the reduction of malaria in the country, with the national malaria prevalence dropping to 9 percent in 2019 compared to 17 percent in 2014/2015, according to the ministry.

According to the Uganda National Institute of Public Health (UNIPH) study, over the past 20 years, the scale-up of Malaria control efforts has led to marked reductions in mortality and morbidity. An estimated 663 million cases were averted by malaria control interventions, nearly 70% of these were attributed to use of long-lasting insecticide treated nets between 2000 and 2015.

However, global progress has slowed in recent years, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa which accounted for 94% of the world’s 219 million cases in 2019. In Uganda, malaria accounts for 30-50% of outpatient visits at health facilities. 15- 20% of all hospital admissions and up to 20% of all hospital deaths and 27.2% of inpatient deaths among children under five years of age.

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Long-lasting insecticide treated nets are the ones recommended by the World Health Organisation to reduce malaria transmission and prevent malaria in high risk communities. Since 2013, the government of Uganda has conducted 3 mass mosquito net distribution campaigns to achieve universal coverage and reduce inequality in ownership of nets between the poor and wealthy households, with the most recent mass campaign conducted in 2020/2021.

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