By Nellie Kapatuka
All is set for the mass mosquito net distribution scheduled for September 23, 2018 in the country.
Logistics Officer for the Malaria Control Programme, Elizabeth Mkandawire expressed optimism that the mass distribution will among other things help in reducing malaria prevalence rate in the country.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Man)a after an orientation meeting with Mulanje District Nets Distribution Taskforce, she said malaria prevalence rate dropped from 33 per cent in 2014 to 24 per cent in 2017 and this is giving hope that with this year’s net distribution, it would be reduced in the country.
“This exercise is one of our key thematic areas of making sure malaria prevalence rate in the country is reduced and we are very hopeful that people will embrace net usage culture and therefore curb the spread of malaria,” Mkandawire explained.
She said currently mosquito net ownership in the country is at 82 per cent but said it is difficult to monitor how best households are putting them to use.
District Malaria Coordinator for Mulanje, Regan Dulani said much as the country was doing better in reducing malaria cases, Mulanje was not doing well as cases have risen tremendously in the past three years.
“Mulanje has for the past three years registered a high number of malaria cases with recent statistics of 318,000 cases in the just ended financial year.
“As a DHO we will soon embark on supervising households on net usage because much as people receive the nets, putting them to use is a different thing. We would like to make sure they really hang and use the nets,” he pointed out.
The National Mass distribution for nets, takes place every three years and this year it will take place on.
Malaria remains a major public health problem in the country with about 4 million people dying to malaria related cases every year. –Mana