Residents of Busia have been encouraged to embrace the ongoing Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) of houses and other areas of dweling in the county in a bid to fight malaria.
Addressing the press in his office on Friday, Deputy Governor H.E Arthur Odera emphasized that the initiative which is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health through the US President’s Malaria Initiate(PMI) and the County Government of Busia is critical in reducing malaria burden in the devolved unit.
“We are happy because this is a proven method of reducing Malaria that has been applied with a lot of success in Homabay and Migori Counties. We understand that when we eliminate vectors of malaria, then we will greatly reduce malaria,” said Mr Odera.
The DG who is also the County executive for Health and Sanitation noted that IRS achieved great success in Migori by reducing Malaria prevalence rate from 38 per cent to less than 5%.
“As a county, our malaria prevalence is at 39% and we hope to reduce it to below 25% by spraying this year and reduce the burden to negligible level in the coming years,” he added.
He further stated that the admistration of Governor Paul Otuoma and the department of Health by extension are aware of the effects malaria has on the population and even the economy as patients waste valuable time suffering on bed or seeking treatment yet its preventable.
The DG dismissed misconception associated with the program including claims that the chemical used in the pesticide sterilizes men and causes bareness in women.
“We have interrogated previous exercises with no justification of these claims. The spray is safe as long as it doesn’t come in contact with the skin when still wet or in gaseous state the reason why Sprayers Operators have protective gear,” he disclosed.
As part of its collaborative effort in the program, the county government has provided stores for material being used, provided medicines for any allergies that may be arise during spraying, provided supervisors, Community Health Promoters (CHPs), security personnel among others to ensure a successful process.
The spraying launched on January, 31st will proceed until February 27th, 2024 across the six Sub counties of Teso South, Nambale, Matayos, Butula, Samia and Bunyala.
However, the exercise will kick off in Teso North on February 7th, 2024 occasioned by technical delays that have since been sorted out.
According to the 2020 Kenya Indicator Survey (KMIS), malaria accounted for 40% of all out-patient cases in the border county.
It was also responsible for 13% of all deaths with an average of 685,243 residents diagonised with and treated from the disease.
Meanwhile, residents of Bunyala Sub county have lauded the initiative saying it will assist lower the burden of malaria off their shoulders.
“This spraying is major relief to us since our familes have been bearing the burden of treating malaria every now and then. Our children will now be able to go to school daily and reduce cases of abscentism,” said Jesicca Ajiambo from Bumina village.
Mr George Asembo, the Bubango Sub location assistant Chief echoed Ajiambo’s sentiments reiterating that as adminstrators they have done enough mobilization for the exercise.