Kampala. As Uganda embarks on another campaign to distribute 24 million insecticide treated mosquito nets, a study conducted by National Control Programme Operational Research Desk, has indicated that in some parts of the country, mosquitoes are becoming resistant to the chemicals used in the nets.
While presenting the findings last Friday in Kampala, Dr Myers Lugemwa, the principal investigator in the study, said studies from Busia and Soroti districts demonstrated high levels of pyrethyroid resistance.
“All living things, including mosquitoes have become defiant to some chemicals used in killing them,” Dr Lugemwa said adding that “Government is working with a net manufacturer Vestergaard to deploy new piperonyl butoxide (PBO) nets, with World Health Organisation approved insecticide (deltamethrin) to fight the challenge of insecticide resistance.”
Dr Lugemwa explained that PBO nets have increased effectiveness against insecticide resistant mosquitoes.
Speaking at the same event, Dr Jimmy Opigo, the head of the National Malaria Control Programme said: “We recognised that we can’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather different areas have different characteristics and require different solutions.”
Mosquito nets have been largely credited for reducing malaria cases in Africa by 68 per cent and more than 50 per cent of Africans use nets.
According to the recently released Uganda demographic and Health Survey report, at least 78 per cent of the households in Uganda own mosquito nets. However, some people still do not know how to use the nets, a case in point is Budaka District where new mosquito nets were distributed at the weekend.
Some of the residents receive mosquito nets and keep them in their suitcases while others use them as curtains in the windows.
During a visit to some of the households in Musinta village in Budaka, the Daily Monitor discovered that some of the old mosquito nets had developed big holes and could no longer prevent the residents from mosquito bites.
Mwajuma Naigaga, one of the residents who received new mosquito nets at the weekend told this newspaper that her children had been suffering from Malaria frequently before the government started distributing free mosquito nets.
She said the Village Health Teams (VHTs) have also sensitised them on the importance and usage of the nets. The Ministry of Health distributed 2.6 million mosquito nets in the second wave of the campaign at the weekend with an aim of protecting more than five million Ugandans.
The districts that benefited under the second wave include Dokolo, Budaka, Bududa, Amuria, Bukedea, Bulambuli, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kumi, Manafwa, Ngora, Serere, Sironko, Soroti, Abim, Amolatar, Amudat, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto and Nakapiripiriti.
Dr Jimmy Opigo, the programme manager for Malaria Control, said about 4.5million long-lasting treated mosquito nets were distributed to 22 districts in northern Uganda and West Nile during the first wave.