How effective is the on going ant-malaria spraying?

Efforts by government to curb the problem of malaria through the ongoing indoor residual spraying campaign have made residents to smile after realizing that ICON not only kills mosquitoes, but also other dangerous insects in their houses.

Efforts by government to curb the problem of malaria through the ongoing indoor residual spraying campaign have made residents to smile after realizing that ICON not only kills mosquitoes, but also other dangerous insects in their houses.The United States Embassy and the ministry of Health recently launched an extensive ant-malaria spraying campaign targeting 155,000 households in Kigali City and it was held at Mbandazi Cell, Rusororo sector in Gasabo District.The Minister in charge of HIV/Aids and other Epidemic diseases, Innocent Nyaruhiria explained that Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is a valuable event and with proven interference premeditated to protect people from malaria, which has been a foremost cause of illness and bereavement for decades.The US Ambassador to Rwanda Michael Arietti explained that IRS is an important component of a comprehensive programme to combat malaria. It was reported that approximately 800,000 people will benefit from the IRS programme and by early 2008, 1.2 million Rwandans will be reached by the spraying campaign.Where the spraying was successfully conducted, it is revealed that most of the residents were seeing the fruits of the exercise.In Niboye sector, Kicukiro District, residents said that ICON was effective to the extent that some have abandoned mosquito treated nets saying that there are no mosquitoes disturbing their forty winks.Ishimwe said, “Yes, I can say that the pesticide is effective, mosquitoes died and other small dangerous insects such as cockroaches, bed bags, lice, house flies among others continue to die.” Many residents say that before the spraying campaign began, they could not sleep properly because mosquitoes were a menace in their houses, but now they say they do not even need mosquito nets for safety and protection against these deadly insects. Mosquitoes have been coming from outside the houses from green vegetations in the compound and nearby bushes to attack them leading to malaria infection.The spray should therefore be extended to compounds and bushes around house to eradicate mosquito completely.Many have expressed satisfaction and Daniel Ntawiha, whose house was sprayed, says that they used the pesticide before the government intervention to control mosquitoes and it was effective.In Ndera sector, Gasabo District, where most of the houses are surrounded by grown up vegetation on the hillsides, it’s hard to tell whether mosquitoes died or not, as they continue to come from the breeding places.Some residents said that if they had cleared all the bushes around their homes, mosquitoes would be no more. They agree that ICON kills them (mosquitoes) but they needed yet another touch to clear those breeding places.Though the ministry of Health made it clear that indoor residual spraying was another method to complement other methods that are used to control mosquito influx, it seems that residents have totally neglected them and over relied on ICON.Malaria is endemic in 91 countries, with about 40 per cent of the world’s population at risk. It kills 3,000 children every day and more than one million each year. The majority of these deaths occur among children under five years of age and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. The clinical disease burden is especially high among these two groups as a result of immature and weakened immunity respectively.Among all infectious diseases, malaria continues to be one of the biggest contributors to disease burdens in terms of deaths and suffering. By undermining the health and capacity to work of hundreds of millions of people, it is closely linked to poverty and contributes significantly to stunting social and economic development and in many parts of the world; malaria is becoming an even greater problem than before.Malaria Prevention and Control Programme focuses on these biologically vulnerable groups, particularly those living in especially poor and hard to reach communities. These communities often have limited access to primary health care and to simple and effective preventive tools such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets. In addition, they are less likely to have access to basic information regarding the disease and how to avoid it.Insecticide efficiency and pesticide evaluation report conducted in collaboration with Rwanda Environmental and Management Authority (REMA) and the Bureau of Standards reveals that ICON has no side effects to human life, though some people are still panicky about the on-going ant-malaria spraying. After spraying, one needs to keep out of his/ her house for two hours and should keep food staffs away from the house for that period, so sensitization about the event is necessary.Ends

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