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Govt announces new strategy to fight malaria

A health worker prescribes medicine for a child with Malaria. the government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Egypt that will see the latter set up a factory to produce an insecticide that kills mosquitoes that cause malaria at the larvae and pupae stages(FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Egypt that will see the latter set up a factory to produce an insecticide that kills mosquitoes that cause malaria at the larvae and pupae stages.

The government strategy has been using treated mosquito nets as well as testing and treating malaria.

But under the new intervention dubbed larval source management (LSM), an insecticide targeting the larva stage mosquitoes will be sprayed into water bodies or containers.

“The MoU covers major areas of cooperation, including setting up of a local production unit to produce larvicides and other public health products, which will increase the government capacity to cover more districts and reduce the budget burdens incurred while importing the products,” a press statement released by the Ministry of Health on Thursday reads in part.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Kampala, the Minister of Health, Dr Ruth Acheng, assured Ugandans that this new intervention is not harmful to people.

“They are made from plants and they are safe for our water bodies, we have had enough research on it that is why we have taken long to approve it and I can assure you that it is safe,” said the minister.

Dr Aceng said the LSM programme was approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is expected to begin in northern and western regions of the country, starting with the Kigezi region in March.

Dr Grace Nambatya Kyeyune, the director of research at the Natural Chemotherapeutic Research Institute, who was among the people that conducted research on this new intervention, okayed its use.

“We needed a product that is effective, safe and affordable and the Egyptian chemical emerged as the better option, so today’s signing is a great day for me, I thank God for this because it was not easy. There is need for sensitization on this programme such that people can start implementing it,” she said.

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