Bukenya roots for DDT indoor spraying

Raymond Baguma | 21 Sep 2008
New Vision
The Vice-President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, has backed the indoor-residual spraying of DDT, saying it should be done in Wakiso district to eradicate malaria.

Launching an anti-malaria campaign at Buwanuka Secondary School in Wakiso district on Saturday, Bukenya said: "DDT does not kill and it has been widely used in Europe and America."

"If you support me, I will bring in the Government such that DDT is sprayed in Busiro, Wakiso district. I want Busiro to be a model in the eradication of malaria for the entire country."

Last year, the Government launched a programme to spray DDT to eradicate malaria, which is the leading cause of death in Uganda.

However, the High Court halted the spray of the chemical in Apac district after farmers, traders and conservationists filed a petition, claiming it was harmful to people's health.

Bukenya, who is also the Busiro North MP, noted that on average, a resident of his constituency suffers from malaria twice in a year, affecting the productivity of the farmers.

The anti-malaria campaign in Busiro was supported by Malaria Consortium, an organisation working in 20 countries in Africa and Asia to control communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and diarrhoea.

Bukenya was disappointed that none of the MPs from Wakiso district attended the function yet they were all invited.

"We ought to be cooperating in some programmes because mosquitoes that transmit malaria never discriminate on political party basis," Bukenya said.

The UK health shadow minister, Stephen O'Brien, who is also the chairman of Malaria Consortium, pledged to support the fight against malaria in Africa.

Dr. James Tibenderana of the Malaria Consortium in Uganda, said they would distribute treated mosquito nets to pregnant women and children below five years in Masuliita, Namayumba and Kakiri sub-counties.

Community drug distributors will also provide free anti-malarial drug, Coartem, to households in the three sub-counties.

Wakiso chairman Ian Kyeyune said the intervention of the international charity was timely because malaria contributes to between 30% and 40% of the cases in the outpatient departments in health centres in the district.