Uganda: Members of Parliament call for awareness to curb malaria
Legislators have emphasised the need to raise awareness on malaria across the country, in a bid to curb the negative effects of the disease.
The call to action is being led by the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Malaria, which has launched the 20 days of malaria advocacy as part of the World Malaria day on 25 April 2023.
According to Hon. Timothy Batuwa, the Chairperson of Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Malaria, a malaria walk and medical camp will be held on 23 April 2023, led by the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa.
“The walk will bring together stakeholders and the general public to show commitment in renewing efforts to eliminate malaria in Uganda, alongside other on-going government interventions through the Ministry of Health,” Batuwa said.
While addressing media at the launch on 04 April 2023, Batuwa said the malaria walk will be held annually to continuously raise awareness and galvanise commitments to curb the disease.
He also called on government, development partners and the private sector to invest and participate in efforts to eliminate malaria.
“We need to promote innovations and technologies that will accelerate management and control of mosquitoes and the malaria parasite,” Batuwa added.
He cited the recent World Health Organisation global malaria status report of 2022, which revealed that Uganda is the seventh highest contributor to global malaria deaths at three per cent.
The report further states that 11 per cent of deaths of all hospital admissions in Uganda are attributed to malaria with 44.2 per cent of the population at risk of the disease.
Hon. Geoffrey Mutiwa (NRM, Bunyole West) said that many Ugandans are unaware that malaria is one of the major killer diseases in the country, and reiterated the urgency to enlighten Ugandans on eliminating the disease.
“As stakeholders, we need to work together and ensure that we educate the population about the causes of malaria. This will show them that it is a major problem that should be fought against,” Mutiwa said.
Hon. Stella Isodu (FDC, Ngora District) said repellant plants are a cheap and appropriate mechanism which Ugandans can use to protect themselves against malaria.
“Such plants include lavender, basil, rosemary and lemon grass which can easily be grown in our compounds. We have a plan to set up nurseries where people can easily access such plants,” said Isodu.
The Member of Parliament for Industrial Division in Mbale City, Hon. Karim Masaba observed that malaria is one of the leading causes of high mortality in Uganda with over 200,000 children annually.
“Not many of our people out there know how best to deal with malaria. Some of them associate malaria to witchcraft. If we educate our people on how to defeat malaria, I believe we are taking a step in the right direction,” Masaba said.
Hon. Basil Bataringaya (NRM, Kashari North County) said Ugandans should strive to fight malaria using a clean environment, through ensuring that mosquito habitats are not empowered.
“It is our mandate to support researchers but the population also needs to be involved. Let us ensure that all of us get into a united front to fight malaria and make Sub-Saharan Africa malaria-free in the shortest time possible,” said Bataringaya.
Hon. Agnes Taaka (NRM, Bugiri District) emphasised the need to support technological innovations used to eradicate malaria.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.