The Mbale Malaria Control Project was officially launched on 15 March 2012 at the Mbale district headquarters. Over 220 people attended the event organised by the Mbale project team and the District Health Team. The Comic Relief funded project aims to contribute towards the reduction of childhood deaths from malaria and other severe childhood illnesses through strengthening the district health system.
“This launch provides an opportunity to highlight the objectives and approaches of the Mbale Malaria Control Project,” said Dr. Kenya Mugisha, Project Manager.
One of the project’s key objectives is the development of a strong referral system from the community to the different health facility levels, ensuring the constant availability of the necessary tools and information in order to manage severe childhood illnesses and diagnose malaria in the health facilities. Health worker practices for the case management of severe childhood illness will also be improved through training. The project team is working closely with the Mbale district and the Ugandan Ministry of Health to achieve its goals.
The Ministry of Health was represented by the Guest of Honor, the Honorable Minister of State for General Duties, Dr. Richard Nduhura as well as the Commissioner for National Disease Control, Dr. Denis Lwamafa, the Assistant commissioner in charge of Health Promotion and education, Paul Kagwa and the Program Manager of the National Malaria Control Program, Dr. Seraphine Adibaku.
The project was officially launched by the Guest of Honor alongside the Chairman of Mbale District, Bernard Mujasi, and the Country Director of Malaria Consortium Uganda, Dr. Godfrey Magumba.
“Malaria Consortium’s goal is to strengthen the uptake of the activities and approaches by all stakeholders involved, from the Ministry to the Community,” Dr. Magumba told the audience. “In this way we can create real ownership of the project to ensure sustainability of the initiatives.”
The launch also provided an opportunity to disseminate the results of the three baseline surveys that have been conducted to inform the project implementation going forward. These are the household survey, the health facility survey and the laboratory assessment. The results were presented and discussed with a broad audience of VHTs, health workers, sub-county chiefs, district counselors, district officials and other health partners. A report and a summary of the major results will soon be shared with all stakeholders.
Various training has already been conducted successfully as part of the project; Village Health Teams have been trained in the basic health package according to the Ministry of Health guidelines, health workers from all health facility levels have been trained in Integrated Management of Malaria and laboratory staff have been trained in the diagnosis of malaria through microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests as well as in quality assurance and quality controls.
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