Maracha District forms malaria taskforce
Maracha District Local Government has formed a malaria taskforce under Mass Action Against Malaria(MAAM). MAAM is supported by the US President’s Malaria Intiative(PMI) and Ministry of Health. The district malaria task force comprises of leaders from the district to the parish level, office of the RDC and opinion leaders.
During the launch of the district malaria taskforce at the district board-room on Friday May 5, 2023, Ms. Koli-ba Kotevu, Maracha District Deputy RDC, said “We are committed, we have ever undertaken other pro-grams for malaria, we did well”
Ms. Kotevu underscored President Museveni’s commitment to seeing the transformation of West Nile region.
Ms. Flavia Osoa, Maracha District Education Officer (member of district malaria taskforce), decried the poor usage of mosquito nets at household level.
“At homes mosquito nets are not used very well, and some parents are so careless” she said.
Ms. Osoa also that there was need to reactivate the schools’ health committees to tackle the surge in malaria cases. She said malaria affects the learners in several ways with the most pronounced being learner absenteeism.
Mr. Russall Jurua, Assistant Maracha District Health Officer(Environment), said Village Health Teams(VHTs) have been very pivotal in the treatment and control of malaria.
“Our medicines (malaria drugs) are with VHTS, they rarely report they are out of stock.” he revealed during the meeting.
West Nile has a malaria prevalence of 22%, the second highest in the country, with Karamoja sub-region leading with malaria prevalence of 34%. The national malaria prevalence stands at 9%.
However, Mr. Jurua said that there was need to scientifically investigate the continued high malaria prevalence across the West Nile region, despite several interventions that have been undertaken.
Mr. Jurua added there may be more to the high prevalence than has been researched. He revealed that the district recorded two death cases related to malaria in the FY 2021/2022. He was quick to add that the death cases were recorded at facility level, much as there could have been malaria deaths in homes.
7 sub counties in Maracha District have been selected to participate in the MAAM campaign. These in-clude: Oleba, Yivu, Oluffe, Tara, Drambu, Awiziru, and Buramali.
Night markets were identified as one of the sources of malaria in-fections. Hon. Bosco Asea, Mara-cha District Vice Chairperson (member of district malaria task-force), said the night markets are a source of revenue for the lower administrative units which creates a dilema.
Hon. Asea said women are in-volved in several household ac-tivities which impacts on their planning and preparation for late evening domestic chores.
“The food being cooked for the children is prepared late. The children stay outside late. They get in touch with mosquitoes” Hon. Asea said.
Maracha District Local Government spends UGX 5 billion in a financial year treating malaria at health centre level.
Maracha District Malaria Task-force has developed structures for sub-county malaria taskforces and malaria taskforces of learning institutions. A technical team will remold the district’s malaria action plan.