The Government will roll-out countrywide malaria vaccination in 2023 as funding support from development partners continues to dwindle, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng the Minister of Health, has revealed.
Dr. Aceng made the revelation on Wednesday while responding to lawmakers’ prayers contained in a motion urging the Government to strengthen her efforts to avert, control and eradicate the transmission of the fatal parasitical disease.
“Government will implement the malaria vaccination in children at the end of next 2023. It is not 100 per cent effective but we appreciate that it could curb down the burden of malaria,” Dr. Aceng said.
Adding that, “The money that is spent on malaria is currently donor funded and from partnerships. We spend over US$120 million, approximately Shillings 424.3 billion annually on malaria treatment with mostly foreign support from partners such as Rotary Clubs.”
Dr. Aceng was responding to motion moved by Dr. Timothy Batuwa the Jinja South County West Member of Parliament imploring the Government to prioritize improvement of the health budget to support the fight against malaria.
“Malaria is responsible for over 30 per cent of the total outpatient visits and 20 per cent of all hospital admissions. The country recorded a total of 20 million cases and a death toll of 30,900 people in 2020 alone, including over 70,000 children under five years,” Dr. Batuwa said.
He further added that, “Uganda is a signatory to the Goal 3 of the 2000 Abuja Declaration that bestows duty upon the member States to fight against malaria. The Abuja Declaration particularly seeks to have good health by ending the malaria epidemic by the year 2030.”
Sarah Achieng Opendi, the Tororo District Woman Representative observed that since malaria is the leading killer disease in Uganda, this calls for committed efforts of the Health Ministry to have extensive mass sensitization.
Meanwhile, Fred Opolot, the Pingire County legislator in Serere District rallied the House to first rack the Malaria Control Bill, 2021.“This Bill needs to have a chapter which will establish a fund known as the Presidential Malaria Trust Fund Uganda whose objective will be to secure predictable and sustainable means of procuring goods and services for malaria elimination as a public health threat,” Opolot said.
Currently, Uganda is encouraging households to sleep under an insecticide-treated mosquito nets, use of indoor residual spraying and administering oral medication among others as the best way to prevent mosquito bites.
In the 2022/2023 national budget, the Health Sector has been allocated sh 3.58 trillion, and of this, Sh1.03 trillion will go towards payment of wages, Sh 928.400 billion for non-wage recurrent, Sh 270.509 billion on development and Sh 1.353 trillion is expected to come from external funding.