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Uganda To Distribute ITNs To All Citizens

The Ugandan ministry of health said that everyone in the country will receive free insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) to prevent malaria beginning in September, James Kakooza, the state minister for primary health care, said, New Vision/ reports. Kakooza said children and mothers will be the priority, but that the goal is to make the 17.4 million imported ITNs available to everyone. The ITNs will supplement 6 million ITNs that were distributed over the last three years, Richard Ndyomugyenyi, the malaria control program officer, said.

Countries that have distributed ITNs to all citizens have lowered malaria prevalence to one percent, Kakooza said, adding, “We can also do it here in Uganda. It is just a matter of time.” The ministry aims to provide one net for every two people, he said. According to New Vision/, Uganda spends about 1,200 billion shillings or about $408 million annually from public and private funds to manage malaria. It contributes 10 percent of its health budget to the disease. 

The distribution of ITNs is part of Uganda’s overall strategy to control malaria, which also includes indoor insecticide spraying, New Vision/ reports (Businge, New Vision/, 6/17).