Distribution of insecticide bed nets begins in Region One

As Guyana recorded 10,000 cases of Malaria in 2023, the Ministry of Health is intensifying its fight to eliminate the life-threatening disease.

The goal is to abolish falciparum malaria in Region One by 2025, and all types of malaria by 2030.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), falciparum is the deadliest malaria parasite, which, if left untreated, can lead to organ failure and eventually death.

Against this backdrop, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony and a team of senior health personnel launched a mass distribution of insecticide-impregnated bed nets at Port Kaituma Hospital, Region One.

Minister Anthony distributed insecticide-impregnated bed nets

These nets are treated and act as a physical barrier for mosquitoes.

“For Region One, we have allocated close to 27,800 bed nets, which we would be using across the region. For your sub-region, we have brought about 6,200 bed nets.

Now, none of this is going to be effective if we give the wrong people the nets.  So, if we give to people who don’t need it, then we are not controlling anything,” the health minister stated, as he addressed workers involved in the distribution programme.

Minister Anthony urged persons working in the malaria programme to distribute the nets fairly and ensure they are not sold, as there were such reports in the past.

“If you are an employee of the ministry or the region…we catch you doing that, well you will no longer have a job with us and I want that to be very clear. We are here to serve people. This is something that the government is making available to people free of cost and you have no right to go and sell the people,” he noted.

He also urged the health workers to ensure there is appropriate use of the nets.

Minister Anthony addresses the gathering at the launch of the distribution

The health ministry is collaborating with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and other agencies, to train persons who can test and treat cases of malaria, in areas where there is no health facility.

 Already, 160 persons have been trained in Region One.

“This is just the beginning of a process and we want to see that by the end of the year, that all these investments that we have made that they are amounting to something that we are actually seeing a real reduction in cases, because these things would have been properly utilised,” he stated.

The last distribution of nets was in 2021 and that year recorded the lowest number of infections at 4000.

The nets being distributed include those suited for hammocks as is commonly used by miners. Thousands of these nets will also be distributed in Regions Seven, Eight, Nine and 10.