Several people in Kumi district have rejected a free indoor residual spraying exercise for fear that the chemical used will make them impotent.
Stephen Edyegu, the Kumi District Health Inspector, says there are numerous rumors about the effects of ICON, the indoor residual spraying chemical, and its impact on human health. He says the most common rumor is that the spray, used to kill malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, can cause impotence and infertility.
Edyegu says that in some villages people have literally chased away agents of Pilgrims, the NGO carrying out the spraying. Others lock their doors on seeing the agents, refusing to listen to explanations on how useful the exercise is.
ICON is an internal residual spray targets the malaria-transmitting anopheles mosquito. It is an alternative to the controversial DDT and has a shorter lifespan of only four to six months.
Dr. Nicholas Okwana, coordinator of the Pilgrims drug administration program, says that despite the resistance, the spraying exercise has been well received in Kumi. He says 130,000 people have received free anti-malarials and thousands of homes have been sprayed.
The Kumi district health department says 4,000 in the district are treated for malaria every month.
indoor residual spraying