BUJUMBURA / NGOZI / CANKUZO October 31st (ABP) – Sanitary provinces are organizing social mobilization meetings for the long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets distribution campaign that will take place from December 10 to December 14, 2019 at the national level.

In Bujumbura (western Burundi), the Provincial Health Office (BPS), in collaboration with Caritas Burundi, gathered on Tuesday October 29, 2019, at the headquarters of Rukaramu zone in Mutimbuzi commune, key stakeholders of the project in view of mobilizing them for the next Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Nets (MIILDA) distribution campaign, a check by ABP revealed.

In her opening speech, the governor’s socio-cultural adviser, Mrs. Adelaide Hatungayo, said that the distribution of the MIILDAs is timely because malaria also affects the people of Bujumbura. She called on participants in the Provincial Day of Mobilization to try harder in making this distribution a success.

The medical director of the sanitary province, Dr. Joel Nibigira, said that malaria is one of the causes of mortality and is rampant in the health districts of Isare and Kabezi, although it also exists in Rwibaga district.

He continued to say that the purpose of that distribution is to reduce the number of deaths from malaria through prevention by providing MIILDAs to all households.

Dr Nibigira said the distribution will be preceded by a count of all households in the country. Then there will be the distribution of vouchers in public or approved health centers, a voucher corresponding to one mosquito net for two people. The count will run for 12 days, from November 12 to 23, 2019, while the official launch of the distribution will take place on December 10, 2019. Distribution will take place from December 10 to 14, 2019. Officials of the BPS and Health District Offices are called on to ensure the drawing up field distribution reports. The administration must mobilize people to follow the entire counting process, distribution and ensure the proper use of MIILDAs.

Community-Based Associations (CBAs) will distribute the MIILDAs, and all partners must ensure the proper use of the mosquito nets as it has been noted that mosquito nets are used for other purposes or sold in the DRC. When asked about the fate of the special groups like boarding schools, Christian communities, camps and police stations, the representative of Caritas replied that the distribution to those groups is done after the distribution in households.

In Ngozi (north), the medical director of the sanitary province, Dr Philibert Sendegeya, said that this mobilization concerns the various health workers in Ngozi and is aimed at explaining the organization, timing and all the logistical aspects of that campaign. The various administrative, religious, civil society and media leaders are then asked to widely disseminate the message received.

According to the chronogram of the activities of that campaign, a count of the beneficiary households and the distribution of the vouchers is planned, an activity that will be made from November 12 to 23, 2019. No household may have more than six mosquito nets, and the distribution will be made on well-known sites, that is, health centers, schools and parishes.

Note that the numbers of malaria cases have resumed their upward trend since October. The medical director of the Ngozi sanitary province says that even if the situation is not yet epidemic, the alert threshold has already been exceeded. The sanitary province has also begun a campaign of fighting against insects in the households of the health districts of Kiremba and Buye.

In Cankuzo (eastern Burundi), the provincial health office organized a provincial mobilization day on October 29, 2019, for the next campaign, which was attended by administrative and security officials, representatives of religious denominations and community health workers.

According to the provincial doctor in Cankuzo, Dr. Zacharie Kubwimana, the eradication of malaria is the main concern of the Ministry of Public Health because, he says, this disease has remained a major handicap of public health. According to him, more than 62% of the Burundian population have suffered from malaria during the last year and among them 50% were children under five.

Thus, the purpose of the campaign is to contribute to the reduction of malaria-related morbidity and mortality through the distribution of mosquito nets in all Burundi households and to ensure that at least 80% of beneficiaries use the mosquito nets as directed, Dr Kubwimana said.

According to him, the role of the invited community leaders is to make people aware of the massive participation in that campaign which will start with the counting of households. They are tasked with ensuring strict compliance with the guidelines and instructions for the people, especially since there are people who use those nets in an unpleasant way, he said.

The communal administrators also have the role of recruiting agents responsible for the counting and the distribution of those mosquito nets. It was reported that this campaign of mobilization will continue even at the level of the communes.

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