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Health Ministry wants bylaw on misuse of mosquito nets

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has asked district leaders to enact by-laws on the misuse of mosquito nets.

According to the health ministry, beneficiaries have used the nets to fence off their gardens, poultry farms while others use them for fishing.

Dr Jimmy Opigo, the head of the malaria control program at the ministry of health says a lot of money is used to purchase the nets and as such, they should be used for their intended purpose and not misused. This year’s campaign according to Opigo will cost over 443 billion shillings.

Last year, the health ministry reported an upsurge in malaria cases of up to 400,000 cases two years after the second mass net distribution campaign.

Dr Opigo says that the health ministry this year decided to change the texture of the nets being distributed in the country as a means of reducing on the misuse.

“Previously, we used to distribute hard nets which would be used for fishing instead of protecting people against malaria. This year-round we only procured soft mosquito nets which cannot be used for other purposes,” Dr Opigo said.

The distribution of nets started last week in 25 counties in the country.

George William Wopuwa, the LC V chairperson Namisindwa says that while the by-laws would be a welcome addition to the mosquito net campaign, they have not received any information from the health ministry necessitating them to set up by-laws.

He says it is unlikely that the council will be able to sit to pass such a by-law due to the COVID-19 situation that has put a halt to all council sittings in the district.

This year, a total of 27.5 million nets will be distributed throughout the country.

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