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MPs call for mainstreaming malaria as a cross cutting issue

Parliamentary Forum on Malaria wants government to dedicate Shillings 250 billion to fighting malaria for a period of five years

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Parliamentary Forum on Malaria is calling for the mainstreaming of the fight against malaria as a means to kick the disease completely out of the country.

Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament, also coordinator of the Forum, Asuman Basaalirwa says the fight shouldn’t be left to the Ministry of Health.

He proposes that all sectors dedicate at least 15 percent of their annual budget to the fight, and amendment to the Public Finance and Management Act be made to provide for a certificate of compliance to the fight against malaria. The certificate to be issued by the Minister for Health shall then be a prerequisite for sectors to have their budgets approved.

He says this will go a long way in closing the funding gap left by failure to meet demands of Abuja Convention of 2001 which requires member countries to invest at least 15 percent of their annual budgets in health. Uganda is yet to meet the goal.

Basaalirwa was speaking at Speke Resort Munyonyo where Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark the World Malaria Day under the theme “Domestic Financing for Malaria Prevention and Control: The time is now”.

The acting chairman of the Forum Henry Maurice Kibalya says they have asked the Speaker of Parliament to join in this effort and fight for a multi-sectoral approach to the fight against malaria.

The Forum is further proposing that government dedicates Shillings 250 billion to fighting malaria for a period of five years.

The Health Minister Ruth Aceng says government has put reasonable efforts in the fight against malaria and an extra Shillings 50 billion was allocated for the fight this financial year. However, she says there is still a big job to be done.

Aceng says the four interventions by government which are indoor residual spraying, use of treated mosquito nets, larviciding and testing, tracing and tracking should be implemented through collaborative efforts and hence called upon the private sector to support them.

The USAID Mission Director to Uganda Nelson Richard appreciated Uganda for the efforts to fight malaria and called upon government to increase health budget financing saying that foreign funding is unpredictable.

Several players in the private sector have committed to join in fighting malaria through financing campaigns, training and extending equipment to the public.

The board chairman Rotarian Malaria Partners in Uganda Kenneth Mugabi says they have a one million dollar project that they shall implement in areas with high malaria prevalence.

They plan to train health teams and equip them to sensitize the public about malaria.

Fun Cycling Uganda, an association of motorcycle riders also took part in the commemoration of the day by cycling to raise awareness about malaria. Over 50 cyclists paid 50,000 Shillings each to participate in cycling. All proceeds go to the fight.

One of the cyclists Rebecca Diana urged government to enhance sensitization campaigns for people to appreciate sleeping under a mosquito net and clearing bushes around their homes.

The 2019 World Health Organization report shows that Uganda has the 3rd highest global burden of malaria cases  at 5 percent and the 7th highest level of deaths at 3 percent.



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