21 June 2013

Uganda: Govt to Distribute Free Mosquito Nets

The Government has embarked on a campaign to distribute free mosquito nets across the country. Speaking to journalists at the Media Centre yesterday, health minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said the districts of Busia and Soroti are first recipients of the 21 million insecticide-treated nets.

The objective of the campaign, according to Rugunda, is to have at least a net for every two people.

He said the nets were procured using funds from the Global Fund (15.5 million nets), US President's Malaria Initiative/DFID (5 million nets) and World Vision (500,000 nets).

The distribution of the nets in the 30 districts in eastern Uganda will take place between July and August.

The central region, excluding Kampala and Wakiso, will receive the nets between September and October, while western Uganda, Kampala and Wakiso will receive them between November and December. Between January and February next year, the distribution will be effected in the northern region.

Rugunda explained that the distribution schedules were based on malaria prevalence levels.

"The disease is most prevalent in the eastern and the central regions, while the north has a lower prevalence due to the indoor residual spraying campaign," Rugunda added.

"Using bed-nets is one of the safest methods of preventing and controlling malaria. It may lead to a 19% reduction in child mortality and 40-60% reduction in infections," he said.

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