Connect with us


Fighting Malaria amidst Covid-19: Under the Net Campaign Awareness Activities



Malaria remains a global health challenge with approximately 500 million cases and one million deaths each year. It accounts for 30%-50% of outpatient visits and 15%-20% of hospital admissions according to the Uganda Malaria Reduction Strategic Plan (UMRSP) 2014-2020 statistics.

Malaria is caused by plasmodium parasites transmitted to people through bites from an infected female anopheles mosquito. Symptoms and signs of malaria include fever, headache, loss of appetite, joint pains, general body weakness among others.

Currently, over 1000 people, mostly children under the age of five die from malaria. The malaria parasite prevalence levels in children under 5 ranges from 5 to 50% in Uganda.

However, the good news is that malaria is preventable and avoidable according to the ministry of health and World Health Organisation.

More investments are being done to ensure that malaria is eliminated, the most recent being drawing emphasis to the proper use of treated mosquito nets.

It should be noted that in 2000, the government waived import taxes and tariffs on mosquito nets and netting materials to promote their usage.

The Under the Net Campaign

The campaign is an initiative by the Ministry of Health to end malaria in Uganda. This is being done through the distribution of free insecticide treated mosquito nets to all households across the country.

AMF is funding the campaign, with 11.6 million nets for distribution during 2020. This represents 50% of Uganda’s long-lasting Insecticide-treated Net (LLIN).

Global Fund also supported the campaign with 15 million nets. Other partners including the US President Malaria Initiative have also funded the project.

67 of Uganda’s 128 districts are to get nets in 2020 in a waved approach. The previous wave; wave 1 covered 25 districts in the Northern and Eastern regions.

Hon Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the State Minister in charge of Primary Health Care had earlier confirmed, during the launch of the campaign, that a total cost of USD 120m will be used for the campaign.

Over 27.5 million nets are being distributed. Currently, Wave 2 is underway covering over 28 districts namely; Sheema, Kakumiro, Buhweju, Bundibugyo, Mbarara, Kabalagala, Bunyangabo, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Kabale, Kabarole, Kanungu, Kasese, Kazo, Kiruhura, Kiboga, Kisoro, Kyankwanzi, Lyantonde, Mitooma, Nakaseke, Ntoroko, Rubanda, Ntungamo, Rubirizi, Rukiga, Rukungiri and Rwampara.

This was scheduled to take place from August 9 to 21.

Campaign Aims

The ‘under the net campaign’ is intended to fight malaria amidst Covid-19. The campaign aims at sensitizing masses against self medication if malaria signs and symptoms are noticed.

The pregnant mothers are advised to sleep under the mosquito nets for the safety of their safety and that of the unborn babies.

According to Dr Jimmy Opigo, the Assistant Commissioner for National Malaria Control Program, these treated mosquito nets have a lifespan of three years and don’t need to be re-treated.

However, the Ministry of Heath advises that before using a net, it must be hanged in a shed for over 24 hours to allow the chemical to evaporate a bit.

Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health confirmed that treatment of a single episode of malaria costs roughly Shs 29,700 which is expensive and as such, prevention should be prioritized.

Are the nets safe for everybody?

All categories of people can use the nets as they are safe for pregnant women, babies, children and any other person. The insecticide used is approved by the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health.

A Covid Smart Net distribution Campaign

Necessary preparations by the responsible participants were made prior the distribution exercise and these include;

Training and sensitizing VHTs, data clerks on the campaign ‘Under the net 2020’ and the proceeding registration of beneficiaries and net distribution.

Digital systems have been used to collect data from households as Dr Opigo stressed. In this case, smart phone usage was prioritized by the VHTs and Data clerks rather than paper usage. This was so to prevent the spread Covid-19.

In Masodde Sub-county-Kyankwanzi district, VHTs and LC 1 data clerks used their phones to limit human contact during the registration.

VHTs and data clerks using phones to register people in Kyankwanzi district- Masodde sub-county.

Even with door to door distribution, Personal Protective gear was used. The equipment worth USD 3M was secured by the government as a measure to prevent the spread of covid-19 during the exercise.

It should be noted that unlike the previous net distribution exercises where people would pick them from particular local council stations, VHTs carried and delivered the nets to the various households.

The media has been very vital in passing on information about the distribution coverage while leaders have also used their various platforms to reach out to the masses in their areas of concern; constituencies, municipalities and Local councils among others.

Hon Robinah Nabbanja, the State Minister for health in charge of general duties remarked thus, “Zero Malaria starts with me. Fellow leaders, let us mobilise our communities to take up ownership of malaria prevention and care.”

WHO Recommendations

According to the WHO, Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) are recommended for the prevention of malaria in children and all other persons.

Pregnant mothers are advised to attend all antenatal care visits, take malaria preventive medicine as prescribed by their health workers and sleep under a mosquito net every night.


Source –


Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

Continue Reading


2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

Source –

Continue Reading


Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

Source –

Continue Reading