• IRS delayed by negotiations
Government is set to further cut malaria infections with the massive distribution of over 2.4 million mosquito treated bed nets countrywide by the end of this year.
This was revealed yesterday by the Director of the Malaria unit in TRAC plus, Dr. Corine Karema, in an interview with The New Times.
According to Karema, there was a shortage of mosquito nets last year, however, this year a bigger number has been imported.
“We started distribution of the nets recently and apparently the exercise is going on in Gatsibo. We have not yet put the data together concerning last year’s distribution, but certainly, more people will acquire nets this year.
“Over the past two years, malaria infections have been cut by 60 percent and we believe that by the end of this year, the percentage will have gone higher. The government is determined to completely eliminate malaria and mosquito net distribution is one of the strategies through which we shall achieve this goal,” Karema said.
As regards the fifth phase of the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise, the medical expert noted that there will be a delay considering that negotiations are still underway.
“The next IRS round was supposed to begin by the end of this month, however, it will not go as planned because negotiations with partners are still underway. Once it kick-starts, our goal is to cover over 250,000 households just like we did in the previous phase,” she added.
According to officials in the Ministry of Health, various government interventions such as IRS, distribution of bed nets and the decentralization of medical services are among the major reasons attributed to the significant reduction of malaria deaths in the country.