Health Minister, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho

The Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, has called for collective efforts in the fight against malaria in Nyagatare District.

The Minister was last week meeting health officials and district authorities at the Nyagatare School of Nursing and Midwifery to discuss the issue of malaria prevalence in the district.

Reports compiled from various health centres in the district indicate that Nyagatare tops malaria prevalence in the country – at 40.4 percent.

While the government plans to completely eradicate malaria by 2015, health specialists in the district warned the percentage of malaria infection could rise unless tough measures are taken.

The minister challenged stakeholders to draw measures that would check the prevalence of the disease in the district.

While health experts cited Nyagatare’s terrain as a suitable breeding ground for the malaria causing mosquitoes, Binagwaho challenged the district mayor to spearhead a campaign to roll back malaria prevalence.

“Nyagatare District carries almost 50 percent of the country’s malaria cases. We need to rise to the occasion and reduce this percentage,” she challenged.

One of the resolutions taken from the meeting was to organise a mass campaign in the whole district to combat the disease.

“We have agreed with the district mayor that a huge campaign will be carried out in the whole district and the percentage of malaria will be reduced in three months,” said the Minister.

The District Mayor, Fred Sabiiti Atuhe, said the campaign will be mainly village-based to ensure a reduction of malaria cases. He, however, called on all the concerned parties to lend a helping hand in the campaign.

By Dan Ngabonziza, The New Times

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