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New intervention to protect more Ugandans from Malaria

The Government of Uganda and Government of Egypt have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Larval Source Management (LSM) in a bid to boost Malaria control initiatives in the country.

This is premised on the background that Ministry of Health is promoting the Integrated Vector Management (IVM) approach to complement the existing interventions towards reduction of Malaria transmission.

While signing the MoU on behalf of Government of Uganda, Minister for Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng explained that larviciding is the process of introducing chemicals into water bodies such as swamps or stagnant water where the mosquito larvae reside. The larvicides target the larvae and attack it hindering it from becoming an adult mosquito she said.

On other benefits of the MoU, Aceng said that the MoU covers major areas of cooperation including; Setup of a local production unit to produce larvicides. Other public health products will also be produced by the production unit to increase the Government capacity to cover more districts and reduce the budget burdens incurred while importing the products she informed.

She further added that the MoU will provide sponsorship and grant opportunities for young scientists among other industrial capacity building and technology transfer activities.

The LSM program under this MoU is expected to run in Northern and Western Regions in 2019/2020 protecting over 15 million Ugandans. The program will later be rolled out across the country in a phased manner.

Represented by Haitham Mokhtar, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Egyptian Embassy in Uganda, Mokhtar noted that an Egyptian based company, Innovative Research and Development 'InRad' has been supporting the Ugandan health sector in the fight against Malaria for over nine years.

The signing of the MoU today is another great step taken in the direction to contain and fight Malaria in Uganda he said.

This cooperation comes under mutual agreements signed following the meeting between the President of Uganda, HE President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the President of Egypt, HE President Abdul Fattah Sisi. Larval Source Management was revived in Uganda following a directive by the President of Uganda to control Malaria.

Malaria is the leading, most widespread and serious communicable diseases in Uganda. It is a major public health problem, and is endemic in approximately 95% of the country; the remaining 5% is prone to malaria epidemics mainly highland areas of South-western Uganda, the Ruwenzori and Elgon Mountain ranges.

Larval Source Management (LSM) is one of the major strategies for Malaria control under the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) in Uganda. NMCP is currently implementing the following interventions in order to fight Malaria in Uganda; Case management, Long lasting Insecticide treated mosquito Nets (LLIN), Behavior Change Communication and Integrated Vector Management

This newly added intervention is expected to protect and reduce malaria burden among the vulnerable-groups especially pregnant women, children under 5 years of age and school going children.

Source: Ministry of Health

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