By Josephine Chipofya:
Government has said it will use K26 billion to buy over 9 million mosquito nets that will be distributed to communities in 24 districts as one way of combating spread of malaria.
Programme Manager for National Malaria Control Programme, Michael Kayange, said the distribution will be done in the months of October and November this year, beginning with the Southern Region.
He further said Ministry of Health will conduct indoor residual spray in the remaining four districts which are not going to receive the nets, namely; Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Balaka and Mangochi.
“We are going to distribute in the 24 districts and in the remaining four we are going to conduct indoor residual spray which is also a very effective method of overpowering mosquitos. This will help government to fight against malaria,” Kayange said.
Reacting to the development, health rights activist, George Jobe, said government should not just distribute mosquito nets but also raise awareness on how best to properly use them and clear misconceptions that people have on nets.
“We have seen households with more than two people given one or two mosquito nets, each household should be provided with enough mosquito nets so that everyone sleeps in a mosquito net to prevent malaria,” Jobe said.
However, Jobe said it is sad that some people use mosquito nets for fishing and covering gardens.
He also said others have misconceptions that sleeping under mosquito nets can make one impotent and that they also bring bedbugs.
Malawi plans to eradicate malaria by 2030, and one way of achieving this is making sure that everyone sleeps under treated mosquito nets every day.
Statistics show that only 55 percent of Malawians sleep under mosquito nets.
In 2020 Malawi registered 6.9 million cases of malaria and lost 2500 lives, more than any other disease.