Monday, 27 August 2012

MALARIA: Rwanda: Over Six Million Free Mosquito Nets to Be Distributed


    Over six million treated mosquito nets will be distributed to households in 2012 and 2013 and around 500,000 Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) will be given to pregnant women and children under five years in 2012, the National Malaria Control Program Director, Dr. Corine Karema, has said.
"Currently we are in the phase of replacing the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) distributed in 2010," Dr Karema said, adding that families which didn't receive them in 2010 will be assessed so that they can also get nets.
According to Dr. Karema, the cost of a mosquito net depends on the brand and that two kinds will be brought with one at a cost of USD 5.6 and the other at USD 7 with the support of partners like Global Fund.
In Rwanda the procurement of LLINs is done according to the Rwanda procurement procedures through an open tender, according to Dr Karema. She said the National Malaria Control Program plans to set up its LLINs factory and is conducting a feasibility study.
"Yes, this is part of a sustainable malaria control plan and we are still at the stage of conducting the feasibility study which may take 3-4 years."
The study will be looking at whether Rwanda is able to own the factory and the regional interest of the factory.
A mini survey by The New Times in Nyabugogo and Kimironko areas showed a scarcity of mosquito nets on the market.
Some sellers say they buy the freely distributed nets from residents.
"We have nowhere to purchase the mosquito nets and what I have are from people who bring them and resell them saying they have been given many. When a client comes along we sell them the nets," Jorica Uwamahoro, a businesswoman at Nyabugogo market, said, adding that she has only two for sale.
People who talked to The New Times said they have no exact place to purchase mosquito nets since they are not available on the local market.
"I wanted to buy a mosquito net but I failed to get one. They are not readily available. If people can easily get condoms, why can't mosquito nets be as available as other products?" complained John Rwema.
Dr Karema, however, said it was illegal and punishable to resell the free mosquito nets.
The recent scaling up of interventions has made significant reductions in morbidity by 87% from 1,669,614 malaria cases in 2005 to 212,200 cases in 2011 and reduced mortality by 76% from 1,582 deaths in 2005 to 380 in 2011.
This reduction is as a result of scaling up of preventive measures, especially coverage and use of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) of which, according to the 2010 DHS results, 82% of the population have at least one LLIN and 72% of pregnant women and 70% of children under-five years were using bed nets.

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