Malaria Epidemic: Health Ministry Rules out IRS Over Costs

1629 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
According to Aceng, although IRS is very efficient it is very costly and not durable over time.

Ministry of Health has ruled out Indoor Residual Spray-IRS as one of the measures to curb the increase of malaria cases in Northern Uganda over costs.

 
Dr. Ruth Jane Aceng, the Director General of Health Services says over 24 Billion Shillings is needed to spray houses in Acholi sub region. 

 
According to Aceng, although IRS is very efficient it is very costly and not durable over time. Aceng says they had tentatively decided on two rounds of Bendiocarb spray but there is no funding.
 
 
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Aceng disclosed this while meeting Health Officials and local politicians in Gulu at Lacor hospital on Saturday. She asked the district to focus on case management and bed nets to curb the spread of malaria.
 

Yoweri Idiba, the Gulu Bio statistician says the district registers 11,000 cases of Malaria and 6 deaths every week while Kitgum district registers 5000 in the same period.
 

Robert Ongom, the Gulu District Health Officer says they have submitted an epidemic response plan to the health ministry worth over Shillings 1 Billion.
 
 
 
He says the money is meant for case management, monitoring and indoor residual spray. Ongom appeals to donors and organizations that can finance IRS and malaria programs to come in.



He urges the public to send malaria cases to health centers in the district for management.
 
 
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Dr. Odong Ayella, a Medical Officer at Lacor Hospital says 70% of the children admitted at the hospital have malaria.
 
She attributes the increase in malaria cases to the failure by residents to use mosquito nets.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.