New malaria study commissioned
A research programme seeking to find out why there is high prevalence of malaria in Bugesera District has been launched.
Ruhuha Sector, Bugesera will be used as a case study for the four-year research project also aimed at finding the disease control measures.
The project was prompted by reports indicating that Bugesera is among the most affected districts with high malaria prevalence.
At the launch last week, Dr. Claver Kayumba, the Acting Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre said the research will help give direction on how to control the problem of malaria.
“This is one of the most affected areas with Malaria but through this research, the team will be able to identify how Malaria can be eliminated. Despite giving out of mosquito nets and spraying insecticides to kill the mosquitoes, we still have malaria cases. The Research team will identify why and what the way forward should be,” he said.
He called on the residents of that sector to make proper use of the mosquito nets and always seek timely medication whenever they suspect fever or malaria.
Fredrick Gatera, one of the Researchers who is also a PHD student, said there could be many underlying causes of high malaria prevalence in this area.
“For instance this sector has only one health centre serving over 35 villages which could be one of the factors. We want to look at the impact of Community Health Workers (CHW’s) and their delivery of community health services. While they’ve done a good job, there’s need to evaluate their impact and see if they can use them as key first line diagnosis and treatment options since there’s only one health centre in Ruhuha sector,” he said.
He added that the research also intends to identify if CHW’s can mobilize community because community involvement is very crucial in disease control.
Gatera said that there’s need to devise methods that are different from the routine use of mosquito nets and spraying houses in the fight against Malaria.
Citing integrated vector management and other practices that have to do with environmental management, he stated that the goal is to provide sustainable and long-term interventions to eliminate Malaria.
Ancilla Mukamusoni 70, a resident of Ruhuha lives with a family of four. They have two mosquito nets which are old and worn out now.
She appealed to the government to distribute more mosquito nets, saying the ones they have are no longer effective and they can’t afford to purchase new ones.
The project is being funded by the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam from Netherlands at a tune of 1.6 million Euros.
According to the 2010 DHS results, 82 per cent of the population has at least one mosquito net and 72percent of pregnant women and 70 percent of children under-five years were using bed nets.
Contact email: maria.kaitesi[at]newtimes.co.rw