The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has launched a mass distribution of over 390,000 insecticide treated mosquito nets in Kamuli district intended to curb incidents of malaria in the Eastern Region.
The distribution is part of a countrywide effort by the Malaria Control Programme under the Ministry of Health, which commenced in January 2017 and will see up to 24 million long lasting insecticide treated nets distributed to households. The nets, when properly used especially at night, kill and keep away mosquitoes that carry the malaria causing agents.
Speaker Kadaga however said that although she thought that mosquito spraying would be more effective in controlling malaria, she would support the government initiative through distribution and use of treated mosquito nets.
“If the treated mosquito nets are used well, the deaths from malaria will definitely go down,” said Kadaga adding that “We need to sensitise people that the nets are for their own protection, not for decoration at wedding parties or simply keeping them unused.”
The function, at which a goat tethered with a ‘rope’ made out of a mosquito net, was displayed and the action condemned, was held at Mbulamuti subcounty headquarters in Kamuli district, Saturday 13th May 2017.
In Kamuli district, 157, 708 households with a population of 971,206 were to receive 391, 880 nets; each net is meant to be used by two people. Speaker Kadaga, received 17 nets to cater for 34 people including guards at her home.
Mosquito nets were due for distribution in the other subcounties of Kitayunjwa, Namwendwa, Butansi, Kisozi, Magogo, Kagumba, Balawoli, Bugulumbya, Nawanyago, Wankole, Bulopa, Namasagali, Northern, Southern and Nabwigulu.
At Namasagali subcounty headquarters, the Speaker, in addition to distributing insecticide treated mosquito nets, gave out tree seedlings to the assembled.
Kadaga said that it was necessary to plant trees in the region to reduce the adverse effects of weather changes.
She promised that starting with Namasagali subcounty, the entire Eastern Region must plant trees. The Speaker also appealed to the people to grow food but warned them against selling it to foreigners.
“Plant trees to improve out weather; and you can get money from selling tree seedlings,” she said adding that “Stop selling all the food you have grown and then ask your leaders for food.”
While appealing to residents to properly use the mosquito nets, Kamuli district Chief Administrative Officer Ben Otim Ogwette, said that deaths were affecting productivity and food production.
He appealed to residents to ensure that their environments are clean to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes.
Meanwhile: the Speaker on Saturday visited and toured Namasagali Upland Rice Project, located in Kisaikye, Namasagali subcounty.
The over 100 acre rice farm is located on the banks of River Nile and is run by Col. Oguli Dhamuzungu, who is also in charge of Operation Wealth Creation in the area.
Col. Dhamuzungu said that their vision of increasing food production was being hampered by lack of farm equipment, land for expansion, irrigation equipment and funds to cater for recurrent costs.
The Speaker promised to ask the President for a tractor for the farm and appealed to farm managers to work on their quality and quantity as markets are always available both locally and internationally.