Following the resurgence of malaria cases in the country, the Ministry of Health is seeking to reinforce interventions at the community level.
This was announced yesterday on the occasion of the World Malaria Day, marked under the global theme “Ending Malaria for Good.’’
The ministry plans to carry out several activities top of which includes distribution of long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets.
Speaking to The New Times, Dr Corine Karema, the division manager, malaria and other parasitic diseases at Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said this drive would promote the collaboration between local health officials to ensure proper use of the bed nets.
“There is a small gap of less than 10 per cent between those who have nets and those who do not use them properly. After visiting each household, local government and community health workers will move to ensure proper usage of these nets,” said Dr Kalema.
About 2.6 million nets have already been distributed in Kamonyi, Gisagara, Huye, Nyanza, Muhanga, Ruhango, Rwamagana, Kayonza, Ngoma, Kirehe,Nyagatare, Gatsibo and Bugesera districts this year.
However, government seeks to cover the other districts with more 6 million nets for both households and boarding schools.
On reports that some of these nets are abused through activities such as fishing, Dr Karema emphasised that community health workers need to engage communities on better.
“Through community mobilisation, health workers will ensure that nets are used correctly this time,” she added.
Indoor residual spraying and controlling mosquito bites
Other activities include implementation of of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) for malaria control in four high malaria burden districts of Nyagatare, Bugesera, Gisagara, Kirehe and Gatsibo.
Since February, at least 163,684 structures were sprayed in the first round. The second round is ongoing and 317,381 homes in Bugesera, Gisagara, Gatsibo and two sectors of Nyagatare District will be sprayed.
Stanley Ngarukiye, a public health consultant in Kigali, stated the need to maintain proper hygiene around homes as being essential in the fight against malaria.
“Mosquitoes thrive in places where hygiene is poor, this of course includes slashing bushes and clearing water that is left stagnant in containers beside other interventions like closing doors and windows early,” he said.
The ‘mother and child health week’ starts today and will end on April 29, with a focus on sustaining maternal health and child health, nutrition, reproductive health and fighting malaria.