There is a need to optimize the value of partnerships and collective efforts toward ending malaria, according to the Global Fund High Impact Head for Africa, Mr. Linden Morrison.
Mr. Morrison was speaking at the regional launch of the mosquito net distribution campaign in western Uganda at Karambi Division Headquarters in Fort Portal City.
He said, “Today’s event marks a significant milestone in our national distribution campaign, showcasing our collective commitment to ending malaria.”
He thanked all the Global Fund partners for their support towards the Malaria fight in Uganda. He also thanked the Tooro Kingdom and the Fort Portal City leadership for hosting the launch activity and for their work towards mobilizing the community in the fight against Malaria. He highlighted the key role that community leaders play in the prevention and eradication of diseases.
Ministry of Health Under Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Akiiri (left), the Programme Coordinator of the Funds Coordination Unit of the Global Fund Grants, Johnson Mutesigensi (centre) and the National Facilitator of the Global Fund, Dr. Damain Rutazaana (right)n together with other participants at the launch event in Fort Portal City.
Mr. Morrison urged the community to utilize the nets responsibly and concluded by saying, “Preventing Malaria is in your hands,” in reference to a statement from a skit that had been presented earlier by school children from the community.
Malaria is still a major public health issue in Uganda. According to the Ministry of Health, the country still has one of the world’s highest malaria incidence rates, with an average of 478 cases per 1,000 population annually.
As part of the launch, the Global Fund together with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation, among others conducted a joint monitoring visit to assess the Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLIN) distribution status and the malaria disease trends. The team made a brief stop-over at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital before proceeding to Luteete Health Centre III.
The Director General of Health Services, Dr Henry Mwebesa appreciated the Tooro Kingdom and the Fort Portal city leadership for their efforts towards community mobilization, which he said is vital for combating the disease. Dr Mwebesa also highlighted the nation’s progress in combating malaria, emphasizing the importance of swift action in the ongoing third wave of the LLIN distribution.
He challenged health workers in the community to be passionate about their work and urged them to utilize the facilities at Health Centre IV effectively.
The Head of the National Malaria Control Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr Jimmy Opigo acknowledged the Tooro Kingdom partnership and support towards the Malaria fight. He said that the support is partly responsible for the progress that has been made towards eliminating the disease in the region. “We have been posting encouraging figures from here,” he said in reference to the positive malaria disease trends in the area. He however added that there is a need to push for the eradication of the disease from the area.
According to the Ministry of Health between 2010 to 2020, the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) significantly increased, with a cumulative total of 83.4 million nets provided to 144.6 million people.
About 28.8 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) were procured to be distributed to a population of 46.8 million people in 9.4 million households by the end of the campaign.
Currently, over, 15,349,960 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) have been distributed successfully during the ongoing campaign. According to the Ministry of Health, efforts are being made to ensure the completion of this year’s LLIN distribution by December 31.
The event was presided over by the Deputy Prime Minister for Culture, Gender, and Clan Mobilisation, Owek Nyakake Harriet Abwoli who thanked all stakeholders for partnering with the people of Fort Portal City and the entire Tooro Kingdom to fight and eradicate malaria from the region.