Rwandan Coalition Strengthens Boarding Students Against Malaria with Insecticide Treated Nets

In a commendable collaboration, the Rwanda NGOs Forum, in partnership with the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) and supported by the Ministry of Education and various Civil Society Organizations, extends the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) to boarding secondary schools across different districts in Rwanda. This strategic initiative aims to fortify the nation’s fight against malaria and aligns with Rwanda’s ambitious targets of reducing cases by 40% in 2020, 75% in 2025, and achieving a remarkable 90% reduction by 2030.

This initiative serves as a cornerstone in Rwanda’s determined effort to combat the pervasive threat of malaria, with the overarching goal of reducing cases by 40% in 2020, 75% in 2025, and achieving an ambitious 90% reduction by 2030.

The Kirehe district, identified as a high-risk area for malaria according to a 2021 RBC survey, takes a leading role in this comprehensive effort. The focused distribution of 4,150 Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets is designed to protect students, particularly those in boarding schools, from the persistent threat of malaria. Prominent recipients of these nets include Akagera International School, accommodating students from various countries, and Kirehe Adventist TVET School.

Expressing their gratitude, students highlight the positive impact on both health and education. Ibeza Kezia, a 5th-year student at Akagera International School, shares,

These Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets are going to help us because mosquitoes will no longer bother us as usual, helping us reduce sickness and ensuring we don’t miss school due to illness.”

Dreng Adebus, the Head teacher at Akagera International School, underscores the importance of the initiative, stating,

We are grateful for these Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets, which will help protect our 700 students from malaria. However, the demand is still high, and we appeal for more nets to ensure every student has their own.”

Ntirenganya Théogene, the Director of the Health Department in Kirehe District, highlights collaborative efforts with partners, including NGOs, to address malaria in schools. He stresses the crucial role of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets in preventing the spread of the disease and expresses appreciation for the assistance provided by the NGO Forum and other partners.

Ntirenganya explains,

Currently, in our medical centers, we see a large number of students who come for malaria treatment. We asked our partners for support because we would not be able to do anything without them to see how to solve this problem.”

The distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets aligns with a broader strategy, encompassing early treatment, environmental measures, and removing mosquito breeding grounds. Emphasis is placed on the proper care of the distributed nets, with a reminder to the public about the significance of sleeping under mosquito nets.

Remarkable statistics showcase a significant reduction in malaria cases from 270,000 in 2016 to 25,000 in 2020-2021. Looking ahead, the RBC projects a further decline in malaria cases in Rwanda, underscoring the importance of sustained collaboration and community awareness for long-term success in the fight against malaria.