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Health Ministry to consider nationwide malaria walk

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The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has promised to ensure the nationwide strategy of eliminating malaria.

Aceng’s remarks follow Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa’s call that the Ministry of Health should come up with a strategy on a countrywide spraying against mosquitoes so as to eliminate malaria in order to save lives and reduce the high costs of treating malaria.

“I want you (Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Aceng) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to reconcile your positions on spraying because countries which have eliminated malaria have sprayed. We don’t need to go and invent the wheel, let us make a decision as a country that we are going to spray and we Parliament we shall give you that money to spray. Because a person from Mitooma doesn’t know your negotiations and politics of you disagreeing with WHO, they don’t even know WHO though it is our biggest partner, what they want is eliminating malaria,” said Tayebwa.

Tayebwa added, “The other time, Parliament said we can’t spray, now this is a new Parliament, we are going to take charge. We are going to push it on the floor, we shall provide the money and Parliament will not interfere as long as you feel that is the right thing to do. If Rwanda has sprayed, if Kenya has sprayed, if Tanzania has sprayed and malaria has gone, you scientists, agree with each other.”

Aceng assured the public that the ministry will carry out a nationwide strategy and also called for increased funding to malaria elimination using locally generated resources in order to cover the gap that will be left by donors who have indicated plans to reduce funding to Uganda in order to focus on more global challenges.

“Re-planning requires that we identify a safe chemical that can be used so that we can carry out the spraying and bring down this burden of Malaria and we stop putting ourselves as number three in the race against donating Malaria. As a Ministry, we shall go back and re-plan and develop the strategy and present it to Parliament. That will be after presenting it to the Cabinet because it has to start from the top,” said Aceng.

She added, “We are very much aware that funding for malaria is levelling off from all our partners. Recently, when they called a meeting from the 10+1 countries, which are the countries with the heaviest burden of malaria in the world, and Uganda is number 3 in donating, following Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo, we are number 3. In the conference, we all signed a commitment to end malaria in our own countries using our own domestic resources. It is for Uganda to mobilize its own domestic resources to end malaria.”

Malaria Walk was held in Kampala and it comes at the time the World Health Organisation ranks Uganda 3rd on the list of global burdened countries with at least 12 million malaria cases reported annually, while the 2021 World Malaria Report ranked Uganda as the 5th top contributor to global malaria deaths.

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