The Ministry of Health plans to distribute more than two million mosquito nets in a continued bid to fight malaria.
Some 578,800 mosquito nets will be given to residents in the City of Kigali (Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro districts), and Kamonyi and Ruhango in Southern Province.
Dr Corine Karema, the head of the Malaria and other Parasitic Diseases Division at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), said this is part of the distribution campaign that started last year.
“We started with districts where we have high malaria burden in Eastern Province, the distribution will continue in the Northern and Western provinces after the City of Kigali. We have 2,459,800 mosquito nets to distribute during the campaign,” Karema said.
The mass distribution is in line with the “1000 Days” campaign against malnutrition.
Karema said the ministry distributed more than 1.7 million mosquito nets for children under five countrywide in January. This is in addition to 350,000 mosquito nets distributed to pregnant women.
Rosette Umutesi, a resident of Kimironko, a Kigali suburb, said the mosquito nets they had were old and worn out.
“I want to thank the ministry for this campaign, I will also play my role, by draining all the mosquito breeding areas around my home,” Umutesi said.
The 2010 national demographic and health survey results said 82 per cent of the population has at least one long lasting insecticidal net, and 72 per cent of pregnant women and 70 per cent of children under-five years were using bed nets.
Rwanda has made significant progress in scaling up malaria control interventions over the years.
In 2011, the national health management information system reported only 227,015 malaria cases (of which 95 per cent were laboratory-confirmed) compared to 772,197 cases in 2008.
The progress is in part due to involvement of community health workers who treat children under five with malaria after carrying out rapid diagnostic tests.