Ministry of Health Unveils "The Thief" Campaign

In Summary
  • The Ministry of Health launches "Malaria is a Thief" to emphasize malaria's impact on families, stealing cherished moments and affecting children's education and lives. 
  • Uganda ranks 3rd globally in malaria cases, constituting 5%, and 7th in malaria-related deaths at 3%. The campaign aims to unify efforts, emphasizing preventive measures and a national target to reduce malaria prevalence to 7%.
Jolly Children
Jolly Children
Image: Ministry Of Health - Uganda

The Ministry of Health has embarked on a groundbreaking mission with the launch of its innovative anti-malaria campaign, " #MalariaIsAThief." This strategic initiative is designed to resonate with families, especially caregivers, by drawing attention to the profound impact of malaria on the very fabric of life. The campaign eloquently underscores how malaria can steal away cherished moments, snatch precious school days from children, and, in the gravest cases, claim lives.

Uganda finds itself in a disconcerting position on the global stage, ranking as the third-highest contributor to malaria cases worldwide, constituting a substantial 5% of the total cases. The gravity of the situation extends to being the seventh-highest in malaria-related deaths, accounting for 3% of the global toll. A staggering 23.7% of all malaria cases in East and Southern Africa originate from Uganda, demanding urgent attention.

While commendable efforts between 2017 and 2018 resulted in a noteworthy reduction of 1.5 million cases, representing an 11% decline, the battle against malaria persists, with children bearing a disproportionate burden. The Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2016 highlights alarming prevalence rates among children aged 0-59 months in regions such as Karamojong (70.5%), Acholi (62.2%), and Lango (62.8%).

Dr. Jimmy Opigo, the Programs Manager of the National Malaria Control Division
Dr. Jimmy Opigo, the Programs Manager of the National Malaria Control Division
Image: Courtesy Photo

Dr. Jimmy Opigo, the Program Manager of the National Malaria Control Division, stresses the need for a cohesive and concerted effort. Despite numerous interventions, he acknowledges that efforts have often been fragmented. The overarching goal is not merely to control but to eliminate malaria. The "Malaria is a Thief" campaign is envisioned as a unifying force, employing radio, TV, and digital platforms to reach the widest audience possible.

The campaign places a special emphasis on preventive measures, advocating for practices such as sleeping under mosquito nets. Moreover, it seeks to bridge knowledge gaps, addressing attitudes and practices related to malaria prevention and control.

With a national target set to slash malaria prevalence to a mere 7%, this campaign extends beyond mere awareness-raising; it is a vital step toward safeguarding the future of Uganda. The Ministry of Health earnestly calls upon all Ugandans to actively participate in and support this transformative initiative.

The Ministry of Health remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing and promoting health services throughout Uganda.