Mosquito spraying to resume

Innocent Gahigana | 25 Aug 2008
New Times (Kigali)
The second phase of Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) of ICON insecticide is set to resume, from where it had stopped last year, on August 25.

Health Minister, Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo Tuesday confirmed that the exercise will continue in Kigali and in homes which missed the last exercise in Kirehe and Nyanza Districts in Eastern and Southern Provinces.

"Public sensitization about the efficiency of the spray has been going on to avoid the incidents of people who reject the exercise due to ignorance," he said, adding that creative messages about the benefits to be accrued and what steps should be taken in case of any side effects of the spray have been distributed in the local Kinywarwanda language.

Guidelines regarding the safe use of the insecticide state a sprayed house should be evacuated for two hours before re-entry to avoid any irritations.

The exercise which will be carried out at community level will be voluntary and not obligatory, though the general public is being sensitized to open their homes for it.

He applauded the commendable results from the pilot exercise conducted in Kigali City and urged everyone to cooperate in the forthcoming exercise.

This phase is expected to benefit a population of over 2 million especially those residing around swampy mosquito hideouts.

The first IRS exercise will be carried out under the guidelines of the ministry with the technical assistance from US-based Research Triangle International (RTI).

The US Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) to eradicate the disease in Rwanda and other African countries like Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique is financially supporting the spraying exercise.

The IRS compliments the use of insecticide treated nets for children under five and pregnant women, as well as the entire community in general.

It is sprayed in the dry season to prevent malaria transmission during the rainy season when female anopheles mosquitoes breed and are active.