Ensuring Life, Health and Prosperity for Future Generations

Uganda: Ministry of Health Abandons DDT in North

The Ugandan government is preparing its case regarding the use of DDT in Uganda. For now, use of the toxic chemical has been halted.

Protests in Lango over the use of DDT resulted in the detention and arrests of several people. Organic growers in Lango have considered suing the government for potential losses. Nine companies also have sued the government.

Accountability and corruption are also impediments to effectively managing health issues. The Global Health Fund is currently pressuring Uganda to return money that was pilfered from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by government officials entrusted with the funds.

Uganda still has time to redeem itself and avoid further international embarrassment by utilizing a chemical that has been banned in most of the world.

Unless the Ugandan government wises up, Uganda’s “Gifted by Nature” slogan could soon change to “Sprayed by DDT.” DDT is bad for Uganda’s image, bad for business and bad for tourism.

~ Hellen Otii

New Vision (Kampala) | NEWS | 5 August 2008 | By Anthony Bugembe | Kampala

THE health ministry is now spraying mosquito-infested areas in northern Uganda with ICON, an alternative to DDT to curtail malaria.

This follows the May 30 High Court order to stop the use of DDT after activists said it would cause harm.

“We have sprayed ICON in Pader and Kitgum districts. The exercise is also ongoing in Soroti,” said Stephen Mallinga, the minister.

He added that they were awaiting the outcome of the court process before continuing with DDT spraying.

Dr. Sam Zaramba, the director general of health services said they were preparing a response to give to the Attorney-General who is going to counter the petition.

About 400 people die of malaria everyday in Uganda. Mallinga said malaria cases and deaths had dropped in Apac by 20% and Oyam by 40% after the DDT spraying.

The health ministry launched indoor residual spraying in the districts in February. It was planning to roll out the campaign to other parts of the country when the High Court stopped the exercise.



[…] reports use of DDT has been stopped in northern Uganda.  Nine corporations sued to stop the spraying.  New Visions reports a shift to a chemical named ICON for use in Indoor Residual Spraying, designed to protect people against mosquitoes in their homes. […]

  jobitek wrote @

I wonder about the insistence of chemical spraying in the north when the incidences of malaria are all over the country. I wonder about the lack of conversation regarding the toxicity of mosquito nets that must not be washed in streams or any place that might make it’s way back to the drinking water source. I wonder about the silence regarding the lotions and potions that people in the west use in order to avoid insect bites (including mosquitoes), when it comes to Africans. And the utter void from the chemical companies who manufacture these goods. The buzz grows into a deafening noise. We won’t be silenced forever. Thank you, Hellen for your words.

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