Rotary Club Kisaasi Holds Bicycle Ride To Create Malaria Awareness

The Rotary Club of Kisaasi Kyanja Kampala, in partnership with other organizations, held a bicycle ride in Mbarara City on Thursday aimed at creating awareness about the prevalence of malaria. The Rotarians and medical professionals who participated in the event called for concerted efforts to fight against malaria in the country.

The bicycle ride was just one of several events leading up to the Rotarians’ 98th delegates’ conference, which has attracted over 2,000 participants from East Africa. The conference began on the same day as the bicycle ride and will run until April 29th, 2023. According to reports from the Ministry of Health, malaria continues to increase in several districts in the western region of Uganda, including Mbarara, Ibanda, Ntungamo, Isingiro, and Kiruhura.

Malaria is the leading cause of death in the country, particularly among children under 5 years old and pregnant women. Peter Sebutinde, the Mbarara District Health Officer, blames the increase in malaria cases on complacency and failure to use treated mosquito nets. He says that activities like walking and running can help raise awareness about the continued threat of malaria, which people have forgotten about and is still killing people.

The bicycle ride aims to not only raise awareness about malaria but also to raise funds to supplement government efforts to purchase rapid malaria testing kits. Proceeds from the event will go towards malaria elimination initiatives in Uganda, involving households in the fight against malaria, and promoting behavioral change efforts towards the correct use of mosquito nets.

Robert Mugerwa, the National Private Sector Coordinator at the Ministry of Health Stakeholders, called for a public-private partnership to promote malaria prevention at the household level, particularly in areas that are highly endemic. He suggested encouraging communities to plant malaria-resistant plants around their homesteads, use indoor residue spray, and adhere to dosages among other prevention measures.

Mike Sebalu, the district governor, expressed his appreciation for the initiative, saying that Rotary aims to fight human health challenges and has been at the forefront of fighting polio. According to the World Health Organization’s 2019 report, Uganda is ranked as the third-highest country globally burdened with malaria cases that have led to many deaths.

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