Malaria Fighting Program Short of Funds

Irene Nambi | 14 Mar 2010
New Times (Kigali)
The fifth round of the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) that started recently will not cover the initial targeted malaria risky districts due to lack of enough funds, The New Times has learnt.

According to officials in the malaria unit of TRAC plus, it was expected that this fifth round will cover seven districts, just like the fourth round, but unfortunately only two districts will be sprayed.

"We are quite disappointed that for this round only Kicukiro and Gasabo districts will be covered. It is however an unavoidable problem because our partners are not in position to raise the necessary funds as a result of the global financial crisis," Dr. Corrine Karema of TRAC plus said.

IRS is among the measures that government undertook to eliminate malaria.

WHO estimates that this operation should aim at 85 percent of the targeted population, since there are certain constraints that make it hard to reach 100 percent, such as deliberate refusal by some people to let their households be sprayed.

During the fourth IRS, 1.3 million People benefited from operation of which 228,127 are children below five years of age.

Emmanuel Hakizimana, the Vector Control Manager in TRAC plus explained that 174,804 sachets of insecticide were used. Officials emphasise that IRS is one of the effective measures which kill mosquitoes for a period of about four months.

Ministry of health statistics show that government integrations such as IRS, distribution of bed nets and decentralization of medical services are among the major reasons attributed to the significant reduction of malaria deaths in the country.

Karema adds that out of 10 people who die at our health facilities, 2 lose their lives to malaria. It, therefore, contributes 16 percent to the mortality rate especially among children under five and pregnant women.