Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luwero district health officer explains that although there is a decline in malaria deaths, the disease remains the greatest challenge for the sector and more efforts are needed to eliminate it.
Dr Batuwa explained that the use of back pumps for Indoor Residual Spray – IRS interventions and the use of insecticide-treated nets distributed by the government is not adequately eliminating malaria, thus requiring rethinking remedies that other countries like China have successfully implemented.
Research has shown that sleeping under an insecticide-treated net is one of the best ways to prevent malaria because the net forms a physical and chemical barrier against mosquitoes. When mosquitoes try to bite someone sleeping under a net they are not only blocked by the netting but also killed by the insecticide coating.
The Namutumba District Health Officer, James Kiirya says that they extracted 56 samples from children in the sub-counties of Mazuba and Bulange respectively, which had reported the highest number of fatal cases, but all of them tested positive for severe malaria.
Dr. Byamugisha told URN in an exclusive interview that prior to the renovation of the hospital, the delivery of health services had become difficult and expensive to manage.
All this has improved, despite the insatiable demands at the Hospital. Following months of renovation work, Dr. Josaphat K. Byamugisha, the Director of the newly transformed Makerere Health Services says he breathes with a sigh of relief.
Dr. Sam Uringtho, the Director of Gulu Regional Blood Bank told URN in an interview that they are raising little blood because of the low turn up of blood donors. According to Uringtho, majority of their donors are secondary school students but because of high demand for blood, what they donate is not enough.
The certification by the World Health Organisation is granted when a country proves beyond a reasonable doubt, that it has interrupted the chain of indigenous transmission of the disease for at least 3 consecutive years. Records indicate that Algeria last reported its last case of indigenous malaria in 2013.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, notes that findings from the CDC laboratories indicate that the samples tested negative to homorganic fevers with three testing positive for Plasmodium falciparum, a germ known for causing malaria.
The money according to the statement will support the intervention areas of entomological monitoring and insecticide resistance management. The funds are to be used to further promote proven interventions such as Indoor Residual Spraying and of Insecticide Treated Nets ITNS
The nets were given out as part of a drive to distribute up to 24 million mosquito nets countrywide in a bid to reduce malaria prevalence in the country. The preventable disease is the leading cause of death among Ugandans accounting for over 27 percent of lives lost annually, according to 2016 statistics by Malaria Control Programme.
In Uganda, the prevalence of Malaria drastically reduced from 42 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2015 thanks to Insecticide residual spraying and persistent use of insecticide treated nets. The figures are based on the Uganda Malaria indicator survey 2015. The country loses an estimated 100,000 people to Malaria every year.
Immaculate Omugisha, an HIV advocate with Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV- UGANET says HIV/AIDS was not prioritized. She says in order to have a meaningful campaign on the scourge; government should have provided specific funding for testing and treating all those found positive.
Moses Oguti, the Regional Technical Officer Communication for Healthy Communities, says through the platform religious leaders are encouraged to include malaria prevention tips in their sermons. At least 600 people succumbed to Malaria in Northern Uganda last year. More than one million cases were recorded in the region from July to December.