Uganda Marks Progress in Malaria Control Program
GULU– The U.S. Mission Uganda and the Government of Uganda's Ministry of Health today marked a significant milestone in the fight against malaria in 10 northern districts. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) designed and funded the Uganda Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) project with approximately $34 million in assistance from the American people. Over the past three years, the project has helped protect three million people from malaria.
According to the 2010 World Malaria Report, nearly 44,000 people die from malaria every year in Uganda. Though preventable and treatable, the disease is the number one killer of children under the age of five. To reduce the malaria burden, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joined the Ministry of Health and the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to implement the IRS project and strengthen malaria control activities. The IRS project provided technical assistance to district officials to manage, plan, deliver, and monitor malaria control activities while ensuring safe handling of insecticides in compliance with U.S. and Ugandan environmental guidelines. The project reached nearly 800,000 households in Amuru, Apac, Gulu, Kitgum, Oyam, Pader, Lamwo, Agago, Kole, and Nwoya.
Results from the Uganda NMCP in Apac District showed a sustained decline in the number of malaria cases from 60 percent in 2009 to below 20 percent in 2012. A 2010 community survey found malaria prevalence among children under the age of five in Pader and Apac districts to be 17 percent and 37 percent, respectively, compared to 50 percent in Lira District, which was not part of the IRS project.
In his remarks at the IRS project ceremony in Gulu, USAID Acting Mission Director, John Mark Winfield, said: “As we celebrate our milestone today, we must also recognize that much remains to be done to eradicate this disease. The knowledge and tools to reduce malaria are within our reach – but Uganda must sustain the momentum and the political will. That is how we can ensure our investment will continue to yield results and our gains will not be reversed.”
The USAID-led PMI aims to reduce malaria by 70 percent through such proven approaches as indoor residual spraying, insecticide-treated bed nets, prevention of malaria during pregnancy, and appropriate diagnosis and treatment of the disease. PMI is just one component of the U.S. Government’s health assistance to Uganda, which will exceed $400 million in 2012.
For details, please contact:
Renuka Naj, Supervisory Development Outreach and Communications Specialist, USAID/Uganda