The Ministry of Health has commenced clinical examinations of 300 pump operators who participated in the Indoor Residual Icon Spraying Program in Kabale district.
In June this year, the Ministry of Health launched a program for the spraying of a synthetic pyrethroid called Icon, to stop the spread of malaria.
Icon, known medically as Lambda Cyhalothrin, is an alternative to the controversial DDT. It has a shorter lifespan of only four months and costs almost five times as much as DDT and has no reported health affects.
However Dr. Myers Lugemwa, from the Ministry of Health's Malaria Control Program, says Government wants to ensure that none of the pump operators who participated in the spraying exercise are suffering from Icon-related side effects.
Dr. Lugemwa says initial tests showed that 95 percent of those who participated in the program did not suffer from side effects. He said second tests on blood and urine samples of the pump operators are needed to rule out any abnormalities.
After the second tests, the pump operators will be issued with certificates of fitness from the Ministry of Health.
The success of the Icon spraying program in Kabale will determine its extension to Kasese, Kanungu, Mbale, Kisoro and Sironko.
dr. myers lugemwa