KAMPALA, Feb 8, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- In a bid to fight the deadly malaria, indoor residual insecticide spraying is scheduled to begin in the refugee camps in the war-ravaged northern Uganda where malaria kills more people than any other part of the country.
Emmanuel Otala, the state minister for primary health care, was quoted by the Daily Monitor on Thursday saying all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the Acholi sub-region have been selected for massive indoor residual insecticide spraying.
He said the exercise, which starts this month and will end in April, will prevent and control malaria in the IDP camps before people return to their home villages where health services may not be easily accessible.
"It is impossible to interrupt malaria transmission in the IDP camps using insecticide treated nets alone due to their low retention and their use in IDP camps which is at 30 percent," Otala said.
He said icon insecticide, which has been approved to be safe and effective in controlling malaria epidemics, will be used during the spraying.
"Icon insecticide has been used successfully for malaria control in districts in south western Ugandan districts including Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu, Rukungiri, Bushenyi, Mabarara and Ntungamo since 1998," Otaala said.
Recent studies by the ministry of health and World Health Organization indicated that mortality and morbidity due to malaria in Acholi sub-region IDP camps were high compared to the national coverage.
Otala attributed this to the sub-optimal functioning of health system in the sub-region which has been affected by the two decade long insurgency of the Lord's Resistance Army in the region.
Countrywide malaria kills over 80,000 people annually, mostly pregnant mothers and children.
The Ugandan government has embarked on various initiatives to fight the deadly disease spread by a female anopheles mosquito, including the indoor spraying of the controversial DDT.