US envoy commends govt on malaria fight

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy, Jessica LaPenn has appreciated the way the government have pooled efforts to prevent the spread of malaria.
A team from the Health Ministry spray Bugesera residences recently during an anti-malaria campaign. The New Times/File.
A team from the Health Ministry spray Bugesera residences recently during an anti-malaria campaign. The New Times/File.

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy, Jessica LaPenn has appreciated the way the government have pooled efforts to prevent the spread of malaria.

LaPenn made the remarks on Monday while visiting Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) operations in Bugesera district.

 

The programme is supported by the US through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and according to the diplomat, Rwanda will remain a beneficiary.

 

“The US Presidents Malaria Initiative (PMI) is committed to supporting the government of Rwanda and its citizens to fight malaria,’’ she said, “without partners like the ministry of health and without you residents implementing anti-malaria interventions, our funds would be nothing.’’

 

IRS consists of spraying inside walls of houses with an insecticide that remains active in resisting malaria-carrying mosquitoes for a period of two to six months.

Efficacy

IRS implementers say the insecticide used in the country is recommended by the World Health Organisation, which has been proven to be safe and efficacious.

With the support of the US Agency for International Development through PMI, this year, IRS is conducted in three districts with high malaria incidences; Bugesera, Nyagatare and Gisagara.

The Bugesera vice mayor for economic affairs, Julius Rukundo, said malaria is being reduced significantly in the district.

He said many sectors currently have malaria incidence at 10 per cent, thanks to the prevention measures.

The Executive Secretary of Ruhuha sector, Fred Rurangirwa, said when IRS started in 2009 in Bugesera, malaria incidence was at 54.2 per cent, but now it stands at just 14.6 per cent.

“We are happy that now we have zero malaria death,” he said.

IRS has been added to other malaria control interventions in the three districts in order to maintain the trend of malaria reduction for Rwanda to achieve zero malaria deaths by 2017.

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