Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ministry of Health has flagged off the second batch of officials who will distribute 4.9 million long-lasting insecticide treated nets in 28 districts in Central and Western Uganda. The first batch distributed a total of 4,371,259 nets in 25 districts in Eastern and Northern Uganda.
This is part of the newly launched “under the net” campaign through which government intends to distribute up to 27.5 million mosquito nets across the country. These include 15 million nets procured with funding from the Global Fund and 12 million from AMF.
The US President’s Malaria Initiative-PMI has provided logistical support for the campaign.
The 4.9 million mosquito nets will be distributed to 8.6 million people in Hoima, Mbarara, Mitooma and Buhwejju district among others. The National Medical Stores has already delivered the mosquito nets to the respective districts.
However, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Health Ministry spokesperson said the distribution teams were already on their way to the designated districts where they will train Village Health Teams throughout the week.
Ainebyoona says the teams with conduct the door to door deliveries to 1.7 million households in the selected districts to avoid public gathering as a way of containing the spread of the lethal coronavirus disease-COVID-19.
The Ministry has deployed over 1,000 people and hired close to 300 vehicles for the distribution exercise.
Majority of the vehicles are from tour companies. Some of the drivers have lauded the ministry for giving them business since their operations were affected by the lockdown.
One of the drivers who will transport the distribution team to Mbarara, said the ministry will pay Shillings 110,000 a day compared to the usual rate of Shillings 200,000 per day. “
This is a huge loss but I took the offer because I need to earn money after spending over five months in the lockdown,” he said.
His colleague said the ministry has given each driver Shillings 200,000 as facilitation for meals and accommodation for the two-week exercise.
“A wise man doesn’t reject money. But this amount is low because in some places, the cheapest hotel charges Shillings 15,000 a night. It means that drivers will sleep and eat in dingy places during this exercise,” he noted.
The duo however say they will continue providing services to the ministry amidst complaints of low pay due to the uncertainty of when the tourism industry will actually pick up. The third batch of the distribution exercise will take place in Kampala and Wakiso between August and September.
The overall cost of the mosquito net campaign is USD 120 million (UGX 432 billion ).