Uganda: Govt to Distribute 1.8 Million Nets

Yasiin Mugerwa | 03 Jan 2007

The government will soon launch a nationwide distribution of 1.8 million free long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets to fight malaria in the country, the health minister has said.

Dr Steven Mallinga last week told Parliament that the nets are a grant to the ministry by the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

"These nets will be distributed free of charge to all pregnant women and children below 5 years who are the most vulnerable groups," Dr Mallinga said while appealing to MPs to oversee the distribution exercise in their respective constituencies.

"We have allocated the nets in such a manner that at least one sub-county in every county will benefit. We want to intensify the fight against malaria at all levels."

The minister said the selection of the beneficiaries will be based on prevalence of malaria cases, net coverage and the hardest to reach areas such as Karamoja and some parts of Eastern and northern Uganda.

"We don't want to say that we have left out other areas.

The rest of the sub-counties will be covered when more nets expected in the near future arrive," Dr Mallinga said

He added that the distribution of the nets would based on the data derived from the registration exercise that will be conducted at village level by the LC1 chairpersons, Women Councils and Community Medicine Distributors (CMDs) in the 81 districts in the country.

The Japanese government and the UN children's agency, Unicef, donated insecticide treated nets worth $185,000 (about Shs330 million) to the health ministry to combat the disease in the country.

While handing over 22,300 nets to Dr Mallinga on December 15, Japanese ambassador Ryuzo Kikuchi said the nets were for the reduction of death among pregnant women and children below five in the districts of Kibale, Kagadi, Bundibugyo, Yumbe and other border area-s where malaria is prevalent.

The nets were due for collection from Japan two years back.