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Uganda launches the second campaign for universal coverage of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets

Apac District - Uganda launched the second universal coverage campaign for Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) with the aim of reducing the overall malaria parasite prevalence to below 7% nationally on 17th February 2017. The campaign follows a successful universal coverage campaign in 2013 and 2014 which saw 22 million nets distributed across the country contributing to a reduction in malaria parasite prevalence in Uganda from 42 to 19 percent. That reduction demonstrated the high effectiveness of LLINs alongside other recommended WHO malaria control interventions, in protecting communities from malaria.

The campaign, estimated to cost USD 120 million including procurement and distribution costs, was launched by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda the Right Honourable Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who represented President Yoweri Museveni at a ceremony held in Apac district, northern Uganda under the theme “Consistent use of LLINs”.

During six months the campaign will distribute 24 million free nets across the country targeting over 40 million people. This will translate into one net for every two registered people in each household. Communities will also be taught how to use them effectively. According the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, this national LLIN distribution campaign “directly responds to the UMRSP strategic objective of achieving and sustaining protection of at least 85% of the population at risk through recommended malaria prevention measures”. Dr Aceng therefore called upon all Ugandans to ensure that all households are registered to receive LLINs and to turn up to collect the LLINs on the distribution days.

“The launch of the second Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) Universal Coverage Campaign today, marks yet another step on the journey to the goal of malaria elimination” said President Museveni in a speech read by the Prime Minister. “I wish to express my gratitude to the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), Against Malaria.

Foundation of the UK, President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) of the United States, DFID and all partners that contribute d to the 24 million mosquito nets whose distribution is starting today in Apac, and will scale up to the whole country in the next 5-6 months” he added.

The President urged Ugandans to use the nets properly and not “for catching fish, harvesting Nswa (blind ants), tethering goats or sieving Malwa as has been the case in some communities”. He thus implored all local leaders to monitor and ensure that the nets are put to the correct use and used consistently. Universal coverage with LLINs is key pillar of Uganda’s Uganda Malaria Reduction Strategic Plan (UMRSP). In this plan, the country commits to reducing annual malaria deaths from the 2013 levels to near zero; malaria morbidity to 30 cases per 1000 population; and malaria parasite prevalence to less than 7% by 2020. The United Nations was represented at this launch by Dr Tarande Manzila Constant, Acting WHO Country Representative to Uganda and Cyriaque Sobtafo United Nations Area Coordinator for Northern Uganda & Chief UNICEF Gulu Zonal Office. The UN delegation reconfirmed the UN commitment in support of this campaign.

UN Agencies in Uganda