Government to distribute nets to refugees

The Ministry of Health has launched the distribution of mosquito nets to all refugees across the country as part of its intervention to control malaria.

With support from the Global Fund, a total of 849,495 mosquito nets have been procured aiming to protect over 1.4M refugees. As Uganda marks the Global refugees day today, the distribution of mosquito nets comes to retaliate Uganda’s commitment to host refugees.

The nets are to be distributed on Saturday the June 23 which also doubles as the first anniversary of World Solidarity summit that was held in Uganda in 2017.

Beneficiaries are refugees in Adjumani, Kiryandongo, Arua, Kyegegwa, kyangwali settlement in Hoima, Moyo, Nakivale in Isingiro, Kamwenge, Yumbe and Palabeg settlement in Lango district.

Uganda is home to over 1.4million refugees. According to the ministry, these are vulnerable to malaria due to the unconducive settlement in camps.

“In refugee camps, we have found that malaria is the leading cause of sickness and death accounting to close to 40% of all visits, 36% of al all admissions; and it accounts for 23% of lives lost among refugees,” Aceng said. In her statement she revealed further that 80% of new refugee entrants test possivite for malaria hence justifying the need for the nets.

Last year government distributed mosquito nets to Ugandans under the kick Malaria out campaign. However, the campaign targeted only households excluding residents in institutions like refugee settlement camps.

The nets were distributed on a basis of one net two people.
However, the distribution to refugees shall depend on the situation in the camps.
“Distribution is going to depend not on registration but need assessment; because of housing nature, scarcity of housing you may find maybe five people in a small tent and then there is no possibility of hanging five nets ; so we are going to check availability of sleeping places and we deploy accordingly.”

The cost of distribution according to the Minister is $ 553,000. And this only accounts for communication, distribution and movement of nets. A total of $ 1.5m was used to buy and transport the mosquito nets into the country.