Government’s plan to reduce the malaria burden - a public health problem is progressing with the previous Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) covering 97.7 percent in seven high risk districts.
During the evaluation meeting of the fourth IRS which took place yesterday, Emmanuel Hakizimana, the Vector Control Manager in TRAC plus explained that the operation aimed at reaching 85 percent of all the households but instead covered a bigger percentage.
“The World Health Organization estimates that this operation should aim at 85 percent since there are constraints that make it hard to reach 100 percent.
Some of these include households where there are new born babies and pregnant mothers among others.
“We did this in seven districts and due to good communication, mobilization and education prior to spraying and other factors, the public was ready for the service and we did not meet so many obstacles during the spraying period unlike before,” Hakizimana said.
Covered districts include, Gasabo, Kicukiro, Nyarugenge, Nyanza, Kirehe, Nyaruguru, and Bugesera.
The Vector Manager also noted that there are still more districts with malaria risks but the funding is not enough to spray in these areas.
“1.3 million People benefited from operation of which 228,127 are children below five years of age. In total we used 174,804 sachets of insecticide,” he explained.
While the procedure aims at malaria prevention, Eric Mashukano another official from TRAC plus noted that, side effects were reported among beneficiaries such as coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and headache among others.
He however added that the affected number was only 161 compared to the 303 that had such cases during the third residual spraying period.
According to Ministry of Health officials, various government integrations such as IRS, distribution of bed nets and decentralization of medical services are among the major reasons attributed to the significant reduction of malaria deaths in the country.
Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera revealed early this year that malaria prevalence in the country decreased to 60 percent in the last two years.