Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) is carrying out a residual indoor-spraying exercise in 12 districts to stamp out malaria-causing mosquitoes. Malaria cases in Rwanda dropped by 71 per cent between 2016 and 2021, but cases remained high in some districts. One such district is Kirehe, where the indoor residual spraying was launched on Friday, September 10. Albert Tuyishime, Head of Disease Prevention and Control Department at RBC, said Kirehe was among the top districts with higher malaria cases but now it is 19th in the country with a reduction from 270,000 malaria cases in 2016 to 25,000 in 2020. Jonathan Kamin, Mission Director at USAID Rwanda and Mayor of Kirehe Gerard Muzungu with delegates from USAID ready to launch indoor residual spraying In 2016, Rwanda recorded a surge in malaria cases with around 4.5 million infections, including 18,000 severe cases. These resulted in 700 deaths. However, in 2020 the number decreased to 1.4 million cases, with 2,500 severe cases and 96 deaths thanks to a combination of efforts including indoor spraying, increased use of mosquito nets by citizens among others. “Fighting malaria requires consistency. We will keep putting these campaigns in action as well as treating affected people,” Tuyishime said. Indoor residual spraying is an exercise that involves spraying households with an aim to eliminate malaria-causing mosquitoes. Community Health workers Raising community awareness has also been instrumental in the country’s efforts to eliminate malaria. Under the new campaign, which began on August 21 and ends on September 15, RBC seeks to spray all homes in 12 districts. Jonathan Kamin, Mission Director at USAID Rwanda, which has partnered with RBC in the campaign, promised his organisation’s support in funding and building capacity for the success of indoor residual spraying. In 2020, at least 95,000 houses in Kirehe District were sprayed, which protected about 430,000 people from Malaria. Gerard Muzungu, the Mayor of Kirehe District, said they carry out indoor residual spraying at least twice a year in February and September. In addition, he said, all homes in the district were given treated mosquito nets. Donathile Mukankuranga, a resident of Kirehe Sector in Kirehe District said that through different campaigns, they were sensitised about bush clearing around their homes. She’s well aware that bushes and stagnant water are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, she said.