A report by the Ministry of Health has attributed many deaths in Uganda today to Malaria; the report indicated that the number of deaths is estimated at 312 people per day. The report notes that the most vulnerable groups for this grim statistic are mainly; children less than five years, pregnant women and People Living with HIV/AIDS
The Africa Health Financing Scorecard 2010 also shows that Uganda has the third highest number of malaria deaths among the 53 African Union member countries. According to a recent report from the World Health Organization, Uganda has the world’s highest malaria incidence, with a rate of 478 cases per 1000 population per year making malaria common in over 95% of the population in the country. The State Minister for Primary Health Care Sarah Opendi revealed this while addressing journalist about the World Malaria Day; which was commemorated on April 25, 2013. The minister also noted that the report indicated that malaria is the leading cause of sickness and death in Uganda and it’s responsible for up to 40% of all outpatient visits, 25% of all hospital admissions and 14% of all hospital deaths.
In Uganda, the overall malariaspecific mortality is estimated to be between 70,000 and 100,000 deaths annually, a death toll that far exceeds that of HIV/AIDS, the minister said. The minister also said, they have 21 million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets to distribute to the entire country. The nets are to be distributed on the two people formula per net as a strategy to reduce on the malaria incidence in the country.
These nets were procured with funding from the Global Fund for 15.5m nets. US President Malaria Initiative and Department for International Development (DFID) supplied 5m nets while World Vision Uganda gave 500,000 nets. The minister said the major objective of distributing the nets is to have universal coverage with all people sleeping under an insecticide treated net. The major focus for the distribution is on children below five years and pregnant women who are the most vulnerable.
The 21 million nets were in addition to the 7.2 million nets that were distributed in 2010 under the Global Fund Round 7 Grant; which targeted majorly under-five children and pregnant women. Using bed nets is one of the safest methods of preventing and controlling malaria and may lead to a 19% reduction in child mortality and 40-60% reduction in infection.