Buliisa residents warned against misusing mosquito nets

Residents tend to misuse them by using them as wedding gowns, fishing nets, construction materials, and to shield chicks from wild animals and shielding trees from domestic animals.

By Innocent Atuganyira

Buliisa: The Buliisa District Health Educator (DHE), Robert Mugabe, has warned residents against misusing mosquito nets.

The warning comes at a time when the district has received 69,560 mosquito nets from the government through the Ministry of Health.

According to Mugabe, in most cases, when they distribute mosquito nets, residents tend to misuse them by using them as wedding gowns, fishing nets, construction materials, in poultry project and shielding trees from domestic animals.

On this note, he advised the public to watch whoever is misusing mosquito nets, vowing that they would face arrest. ‘’The public should be keen enough to report those misusing the mosquito nets so that they can face arrest,’’ he tipped.

Mugabe stressed that they were expecting to receive 71,250 mosquito nets but received 69,560, noting that they are less than the initial planned number. ‘’We received a smaller number of planned mosquito nets; therefore, each family will receive the nets according to the number of members they have,’’ he added.

The health expert disclosed that they have already disbursed the mosquito nets to the parish level, and they are being manned by the parish chiefs and GISOs as they wait for the distribution.

‘’We are currently training different stakeholders, including the health workers, who will in turn train the village health teams and others; these will help us in the distribution of the mosquito nets, which is expected to be done next week either on Monday or Tuesday,’’ he added.

Mugabe further added that the distribution will be done at the parish level, unlike during the COVID-19 era, which was done door-to-door, noting that the mosquito nets will be distributed according to the number of people in the home.

According to Mugabe, when they distributed mosquito nets last time, they registered a decline in malaria cases in the district. ‘’At least 50% of patients registered at OPD would test positive for malaria; when we distributed the mosquito, the cases dropped by half,’’ he said.

In relation to the above, the Ministry of Health has also delivered 36,960 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to the Kagadi district local government.

Kanyunyuzi Priscar, the Kagadi District surveillance focal person who spoke on behalf of DHO Kagadi, told this publication that the distribution of the nets to beneficiaries will kick off any time from now.

She said the nets have been delivered to town councils and sub-county headquarters.

Kanyunyuzi explains that the mosquito nets will be distributed by local council leaders and village health team members.

She asked the residents to embrace the exercise in the fight against malaria in the district.

Kanyunyuzi also called for cooperation and coordination to ensure the distribution exercise is fair and transparent.

World Health Organization (WHO) May 23, 2023 statistics also confirm that Uganda has the world’s highest malaria incidence rate of 478 cases per 1,000 people per year. It is also the leading cause of sickness and death in Uganda and is responsible for up to 40 percent of all outpatient visits, 25 percent of hospital admissions and 14% all hospital deaths.

The malaria death rate in Uganda is estimated to be between 70,000 and 100,000 deaths per year; a toll that exceeds that of HIV/AIDS. The average economic loss in Uganda due to malaria annually is over $500 million. In 2021, WHO reported that there were an estimated of 13 million malaria cases and over 19,600 estimated deaths in the country.

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