Five years from now, Uganda should be a malaria-free country, State minister for Health Dr Elioda Tumwesigye has said.
Dr Tumwesigye made the comments despite World Health Organisation’s 2014 report ranking Uganda as the third country in Africa to have the highest malaria infections in 2013. A total of eight million malaria cases were reported with 68 per cent deaths amounting to over 6,000 deaths in 2013 alone.
“It is good to have targets but if they are not achieved, we shall not arrest people. Look at the Millennium Development Goals. All we are saying is that by 2020, we should have significantly reduced,” Dr Tumwesige explained while addressing stakeholders during the closing event of the Stop Malaria Project (SMP) yesterday.
Ms Catherine Chime Mukwakwa, the chief of party, SMP, agrees that it is possible to become a malaria-free country if resources are available. She cited the more than 20 million mosquito nets
which were distributed countrywide under the seven-year project, saying if other donors get on board and government injects more money, more people will benefit.
However, Dr Godfrey Magumba, the country director, Malaria Consortium said that 2020 is only five years to go, which is a short time to achieve the set goal, adding that to be free of malaria, there should be no new cases recorded.