Brazzaville (AFP)

Congolese Prime Minister Clement Mouamba on Thursday launched a campaign in the suburbs of Brazzaville to distribute more than three million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to fight malaria, the leading cause of death in the country, especially among children.

Scheduled for five days the campaign, funded by the Global Fund to fight against malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis, targets the five million inhabitants of twelve departments of the Congo.

The Fund disbursed 12 million euros (8 billion FCFA) for this campaign. The last of this kind dates back to 2012, according to the Ministry of Health.

"In total, more than 3 million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets will be distributed, one net for every two people, aiming to cover at least 90 per cent of the country's households." said Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo, Minister of Health and Population.

"Malaria continues to be a killer of our children (0 to 5 years old) Malaria affects all strata of society and is the leading cause of hospitalization and death." Fighting malaria is not a luxury but an obligation, "Mikolo added.

According to the Ministry of Health, three out of ten children die of malaria, which is also the leading cause of school and work absenteeism.

Since 2008, the Congo has theoretically applied free malaria treatment for children from 0 to 15 years old and for pregnant women.

"We are scaling up initiatives to achieve the goal of eliminating malaria in 2030," a time horizon set by WHO for all African countries, said Mikolo.

© 2019 AFP