Health abandons DDT in north

Anthony Bugembe | 05 Aug 2008
New Vision
The health ministry is now spraying mosquito-infested areas in northern Uganda with ICON, an alternative to DDT to curtail malaria.

This follows the May 30 High Court order to stop the use of DDT after activists said it would cause harm.

"We have sprayed ICON in Pader and Kitgum districts. The exercise is also ongoing in Soroti," said Stephen Mallinga, the minister.

He added that they were awaiting the outcome of the court process before continuing with DDT spraying.

Dr. Sam Zaramba, the director general of health services said they were preparing a response to give to the Attorney-General who is going to counter the petition.

About 400 people die of malaria everyday in Uganda. Mallinga said malaria cases and deaths had dropped in Apac by 20% and Oyam by 40% after the DDT spraying.

The health ministry launched indoor residual spraying in the districts in February. It was planning to roll out the campaign to other parts of the country when the High Court stopped the exercise.