Over 800,000 households in Northern Uganda have benefitted from the Uganda Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) project which was funded by the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI).
The project which cost approximately $34 million has helped protect three million people from malaria in the last three years in the districts of Amuru, Apac, Gulu, Kitgum, Oyam, Pader, Lamwo, Agago, Kole, and Nwoya.
"As we celebrate our milestone today, we must also recognize that much remains to be done to eradicate this disease. The knowledge and tools to reduce malaria are within our reach - but Uganda must sustain the momentum and the political will. That is how we can ensure our investment will continue to yield results and our gains will not be reversed," John Mark Winfield, the USAID Acting Mission Director, said.
A community survey conducted in 2010 found malaria prevalence among children under the age of five in Pader and Apac districts to be 17 percent and 37 percent, respectively, compared to 50 percent in Lira District, which was not part of the IRS project.
Though malaria is preventable and treatable, in Uganda the disease is the number one killer of children under the age of five and the 2010 World Malaria Report, says about 44,000 people die from malaria every year in Uganda.
The USAID-led PMI aims to reduce malaria by 70 percent.