Soroti — The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced today that it is supporting Uganda in the distribution of over 15.5 million long lasting insecticide-treated nets, making it the largest malaria prevention campaign this year.
An estimated 300-500 million people are infected with malaria each year worldwide. Most cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with approximately 2 million people dying each year.
"Malaria is common in over 95 percent of the population in the country," said Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Uganda. "Uganda has the world's highest malaria incidence, and the disease is the leading cause of sickness and death in Uganda. Through Uganda's Universal Coverage Campaign we will be able to distribute one net every two people to be able to reduce malaria incidence in the country. We thank the Global Fund, the U.S., DFID and World Vision for supporting the distribution of 21 million nets."
The Ministry of Health and its National Malaria Control Program aim to cut malaria-related deaths by 70 percent by the end of calendar year 2015. To meet this goal, at least 85 percent of the population must be reached with effective prevention and treatment measures, including proper, continual use of long lasting insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, and ensuring preventive measures are addressed to most vulnerable populations like women and children.
"It is great to participate in the launch of this important campaign," said Mark Eldon-Edington, Head of the Grant Management Division at the Global Fund. "This campaign will allow Uganda to reach the ambitious goal of decreasing malaria-related deaths. Our partnership, strong results, and effective stewardship of the resources, will provide the confidence to donors and recipients to continue to support the Global Fund in this replenishment year."
Participants during the launching event included His Excellency Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; Honorable Dr. Ondoa D. J. Christine, Minister of Health; the U.S. Embassy's Chargé d'Affaires Virginia M. Blaser; the Global Malaria Coordinator for the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) Admiral Tim Ziemer; the DFID/UKaid Head of Office for Uganda Daniel Graymore; and Mark Eldon-Edington, Head of the Grant Management Division at the Global Fund, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Health, members of parliament, and other development partners.
The campaign will begin in the eastern part of the country and continue to the central, western, and northern regions.