Uganda’s ministry of health is developing a new strategy which will support government in its fight against malaria in the country.
Under the new strategy, the ministry will engage stakeholders ranging from policy makers, medical and health experts, religious institutions and local governments at various levels.
The National Malaria Control Programme Officer at Ministry of Health Dr Jimmy Opiga said government registered big achievements in the fight of HIV /AIDs in the country, the same strategy government used should be adopted in the fight of Malaria in the country.
“We are going to adopt new strategy which will bring on board all sector players in the fight of the disease we hope that if its well embraced by the general public then Uganda will be malaria free state,” he said this last week during the Malaria symposium in Kampala.
The Mass Action Against Malaria (MAAM) strategy will replace the current approach being utilized by the ministry, which the technical people at the Ministry says it has not been effective in the fight against malaria since it excludes other players of which some are very crucial especially when it comes to mobilizing the locals in the struggle to fight the diseases.
“Although government has been coming up with strategies to prevent malaria, our local people on many occasions have not been embracing them because they were not massively mobilized by their local leaders and other Influential leaders such as church and traditional leaders.
With the MAAM strategy such leaders are going to be integrated into the system to help government in mobilizing the local people towards the fight against malaria,” Dr Opiga explained.
Speaking at the same event, the Commissioner for National Diseases Control at the Ministry of Health Dr Patrick Tusiime said the increasing incidences of malaria outbreak in the country has an economic impact on the country’s economy thus the need to jointly join forces towards eliminating the disease.
“Uganda will not attain Middle Income Status if the country is still challenged with malaria. Let us join our efforts towards eradicating the disease. Government alone cannot solve the problem without the support of development partners, the private sector and cultural leaders,” he said.
Commenting on the strategy, Santosh Singh, the Senior Country Manager for Troikaa Pharmaceutical, an India based company supplying pharmaceutical products in Uganda, said for the strategy to be effective, government needs to invest more resources towards the development of health Infrastructures and recruit more man power to man the health facilities across the country.
“Infrastructures such as medical laboratories are vital in the treatment of malaria; government needs to ensure that labs are in place with genuine testing kits and qualified staffs to utilize the kits. It is not good to put someone on malaria treatment when there’s no proof of malaria,” he said.
He added by advising government to sensitize the public about malaria saying the mass campaign will play vital role in behaviours changes which have exposed many Ugandans to Malaria.
“The general public can adopt good social behaviours which can limit their chances of suffering from the disease this has been tested in the fight against Cancer and HIV /AIDS in the country where massive mobilization on behaviour changes has been done by the government,” he added.
Malaria still big problem
Uganda accounts for 4 per cent of malaria cases in the whole world, making it to the top five countries responsible for nearly half of all malaria cases worldwide. Other countries are Nigeria, DRC Congo, Mozambique, and India. This is according to the World malaria report published in2018
Uganda ranking shows that the disease is still a big problem despite the fact that government has been implementing preventive measure such as the distribution of 24 million mosquito nets nationwide in addition to Indoor Residual Spraying.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO