By Obed Kankiriho
KABALE- Kabale District has formed and inaugurated a District Malaria taskforce to fast-track and respond to the projected upsurge in the number of Malaria cases.
The Kabale District Health officer, Dr Gilbert Arineitwe Mateeka, the taskforce, which will be chaired by the Resident District commissioner, will include members like, District chairperson, Chief Administrative officer, District Health officer, and the Malaria focal person, Biostatistician, District Health Educator, surveillance focal person and the vector control person.
He says that the committee was formed with guidance from the ministry of health ahead of the rainy season, during which the country’s malaria transmission is high. Dr Mateeka added that the taskforce will be meeting twice a month to review the malaria situation in the district including the number of malaria cases and related deaths, review if there are enough medicine stocks and any other gaps in the intervention and response to malaria upsurge.
According to Dr Mateeka, the district recorded 1277 malaria cases in 2022 including one death. However, he says that 108 malaria cases were recorded in the first week of January 2023. Mateeka adds that the district normally records an upsurge in malaria cases during weeks after festive seasons like Christmas and Easter, which he claims are always transported from districts with high malaria cases.
The Kabale District Malaria focal person, Edmond Kabyemera, said that some of the interventions that the taskforce will be aiming at implementing include, proper use of treated mosquito nets which were recently distributed and lava-siding to reduce the mosquito populations among others.
He however said that they are faced with numerous challenges like late reporting to health facilities by patients seeking medical services, self-treatment, myths and misconceptions of community members about the use of mosquito nets, with some people claiming that they sweat when they sleep under mosquito nets and community members who are poorly using their mosquito nets among others.
The Kabale Deputy Resident District commissioner, Ronald Bakak and the district Chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, who inaugurated the taskforce committee, said that the taskforce has been formed at the right time.
They commended government for putting in place mechanisms for improving health care systems in the country including programs aimed at fighting malaria, which claims lives of many Ugandans.
Bakak noted that they will not hesitate to arrest anyone who will be caught misusing the mosquito nets distributed by government.
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