Acquiring a bed net alone is not enough, but putting it to proper use is crucial too.
The remarks were made, on Monday, during the launch of the Mother and Child Health Week in Bugesera District, Eastern Province.
The exercise, which runs until April 3, will see the distribution of about 1.4 million insecticide treated mosquito nets in 13 districts, with support of the US government.
“Getting bed nets is not enough, their effective use is also crucial,” said Patrick Ndimubanzi, the minister of state in charge of public health and primary healthcare.
He also encouraged residents to subscribe to public health insurance to properly fight malaria infection.
Malaria among the main killer diseases in the country, alongside neonatal illness, pneumopathies and cardio-vascular diseases.
According to Eric M. Wong, the deputy chief of Mission at the US embassy in Kigali, his government has spent over $143 million in Rwanda toward fighting malaria since 2007.
The number of children under five years getting appropriate treatment for malaria within 24 hours grew from 84.5 per cent in 2009 to 96 per cent in 2013.
The death toll of malaria was 439 in 2012, according to information from the Ministry of Health.
In 2013, around 900,000 cases of malaria were diagonised. Of these, 409 people died, with 30 per cent of them being children under five.
Figures show that the morbidity rate in the country stands at 9 per cent while the mortality rate is at 4 per cent.
Jozef Maerien, the One UN Rwanda representative at the event, said it was good news that the event was marked at a time when the country had met its Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) target on mother and child health.
Last year, the country met the MDG 5 of reducing the number of women who die during pregnancy, or shortly after giving birth, by three-quarters, beating the 2015 deadline.
This came barely three years after the country hit the MDG 4 target on child mortality too, by reducing deaths from 156 deaths per 1,000 children in the last 20 years to 54 in 2011, reflecting a two-thirds decline.
As of September, last year, about 83 per cent of households had treated mosquito nets. The government targets at least one mosquito net per two people.
Wong promised continued support from his government.