The ‘arrival’ of Covid-19 could have stopped us a little from thinking about Malaria, which by the way remains a leading cause of illness and death in Uganda.
Over 43 million of the country’s population is at risk of Malaria and of course COVID-19 while having an underlying sickness such as Malaria would speed up one’s chances of succumbing to COVID and vice versa.
It is therefore incumbent on each one of us to avoid the spread of malaria by utilizing already existing means by the government in the fight to bring Malaria infections to zero.
In July this year, the government flagged off the distribution of 27 million mosquito nets as the country renewed its fight against malaria.
The distribution should be done in all districts of the country, in an exercise that will climax at the end of the year.
Under the free mosquito net distribution, the ministry targets to have all citizens sleep under a mosquito net every night to prevent malaria.
Malaria kills between 70,000 to 100,000 people in the country annually, mostly pregnant mothers and children, according to the ministry of health figures.
The country has made notable progress in the fight against malaria, with the disease prevalence rate dropping from 19 percent to 9 percent, according to the 2018/19 Malaria Indicator Survey.
The progress has been attributed to the continuous distribution of mosquito nets, case management, and indoor residue spraying.
Nonetheless, we still have a case at hand, while the government does its work of taking Malaria infections to zero, it is up to us to ensure that we sleep under mosquito nets and use them rightly.
Previously, people in rural areas have been using nets as wedding gowns or as raring traps for poultry, and some used them for fishing.
There is a need to remind ourselves that sleeping under a mosquito net reduces the chances of acquiring malaria by an entire 60%, hence in the light of current developments like the COVID Pandemic, underlying diseases like malaria should completely be avoided.
Malaria alone kills, COVID alone kills, imagine a combination of the two! Sleep under the net.
The writer is a private contributor to the Nile Post