The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has launched a mosquito larviciding program in Lango Sub-Region. This is intended to boost the fight against malaria, aimed at defeating the epidemic to zero cases.
Larviciding entails application of microbial or chemical insecticides to water bodies or stagnant water ponds where mosquito larvae grow.
The exercise helps to reduce the adult population of mosquitoes by killing the aquatic immature forms, so that fewer will develop into adults as elaborated by Dr Alfred Mubangirizi, Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Vector Control Division.
Apac is recorded to be one of the most affected districts with more mosquito and malaria prevalence in the region and as such, the Ministry is set to reverse this.
This, the Health Minister said, will be done through case management, sleeping under long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets, use of Indoor Residue Sprays (IRS), Health education and promotion, and now larviciding.
“We are targeting the swamps; the breeding sights for mosquitoes. We are confident that this will reduce on the burden of mosquitoes that transmit malaria,” Dr Aceng said.
The government of Egypt and UPDF have partnered with Ministry of Health in this new intervention.
Dr Aceng explained some of the interventions being done to fight malaria, the most recent intervention being the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide-treated Mosquito nets.
“We are also doing indoor residual spraying majorly in Lango, Northern and Eastern Uganda. We have also been doing the test, treat and truck method, whereby those who test positive are given medicine and trucked back home to test their family members as well,” she added.
She also said that the recently emphasized Highly sensitive Rapid Diagnostic Testing kits are able to test the malaria parasite in the body even when people are asymptomatic.
“I appeal to the community to embrace the government interventions against malaria because we need to be a healthy and productive population,” Dr Aceng said.
In the same vein, about the mass testing for Covid-19, the Ministry is unable to conduct a covid-19 mass screening for the entire population due to global shortage of Covid-19 testing kits according to Dr Aceng.
“Our strategy has been that the District Health Officers and Surveillance Health Officers pick samples from suspected cases and we test them. Kampala, our hottest spot gets an average of 50 cases per day. This requires that more tests are carried out in Kampala Metropolitan Area including Mukono and Wakiso to pick up the cases from among the population,” she added.
Dr Aceng appealed to Ugandans to embrace the safety measures and Standard Operating Procedures as Covid-19 cases continue to surge.