The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Residents Decry Lack of Access to Mosquito Nets

Rwamagana — Residents of Eastern Province fear that inaccessibility to treated mosquito nets would increase malaria cases.

The observation was made by malaria patients hospitalised in Rwamagana, Gahini, Kibungo and Kirehe hospitals during a mini-survey conducted by The New Times last week.

Jean Claude Mbarushimana, 24, a resident of Rwamagana said that he had three fits of malaria, in a brief period of time he has spent with no net.

He said that he shared the problem with a number of other people whose mosquito nets are not treated.

"It is a sad reality that we no longer have mosquito nets...malaria is back after a long period, where we had forgotten about the disease. The mosquito nets we got can't be replaced...there is no where you can buy them in the country," he said.

Jeanine Gasengayire, 43, a resident of Kazo sector in Ngoma district said that children were the most potential victims of disease.

The mother of four lamented that people were short of alternatives, adding that government should supply again the nets to communities.

"We got the treated mosquito nets two years ago...of course everything has to get old and need replacement, which unfortunately we cannot do."

"We are worried; our environment remains potentially good habitat for malaria-causing mosquitoes. It is thus suicidal to let a baby sleep without a mosquito net...we are always at health centers with babies suffering from the disease," she said.

Dr Robert Ruhayisha of Rwamagana hospital confirmed the rise in malaria cases, saying that there was need to avail new nets to communities.

"As you can see there are many malaria cases as compared to few months ago when people slept in mosquito nets. There is no doubt that people need another supply...you know we don't have a factory," he said.

According to authorities of the National Malaria Control Programme, over six million treated mosquito nets were expected to be distributed to households in 2012 and 2013.

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