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Gov’t launches use of microbial larvicide to control malaria in Kigezi

Health Minister, Jane Ruth Acheng (in black suit) launching Larvicide program in Kigezi (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

Kigezi, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Ministry of Health has launched a drive to spray mosquitoes using Microbial Larvicide as a way of controlling malaria in the Kigezi sub-region. 

The program to be implemented in the districts of Kabale, Rubanda, and Kisoro was launched at Butanda health centre III in Kabale district on Friday afternoon.

According to Dr Alfred Mubangizi, the acting Commissioner for Vector Control in the Ministry of Health, they adapted the use of Larvicide after malaria cases across the country especially in the Kigezi sub-region continued to increase. Microbial Larvicide pesticides control mosquito larvae in outdoor areas such as irrigation ditches, floodwater, ponds, pastures, fresh or salty water bodies, and stormwater retention areas.

Mubangizi says that their research indicated that mosquitoes in the targeted areas became resistant to all types of insecticide and the government’s effort of indoor spraying caused a little progress. Butanda, the area where the project was launched recorded 741 cases of malaria followed by Maziba sub-county out of the total of 4,043 cases that were recorded in Kabale district in the 2018/2019 financial year. 

He adds that the targeted areas have recently received too much rainfall, hence,  too many breeding sites of mosquitoes that cause malaria. 

While launching the program, Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng said that the program is a donation from the government of Egypt in response to a request made by President Yoweri Museveni 12 years back. He said that the request was based on the observation that 

locals of the Kigezi sub-region do not embrace sleeping under mosquito nets.

Aceng says that Microbial Larvicide is extracted from plants chlorophyll which gives it the capacity to only kill mosquito larvae and spare other aquatic life.

Patrick Besigye Keihwa, the Kabale District chairman and Captain Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner hailed the government for the new method of killing mosquitoes. 

They, however, say that it is now the responsibility of locals to clear bushes around their homes as well as proper disposal of all items that can aid water stagnation. 

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