Kenya was among the 13 countries in Africa that
were feted during the 20th ordinary session
of the African Union held last month
NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Kenya ’s Ministry of Health will push for the return to the use of dichloro-diphenyl- trichloroethane (DDT) insecticide in its fight against malaria, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Minister of Public Health Beth Mugo told journalists in Nairobi that some government departments including the ministry of agriculture are not opposed to its use.
“We shall lobby the rest of the government in order to change the national policy so as to re-introduce the use of DDT insecticide, with conditions that it does not interfere with agriculture or the environment,” Mugo said while releasing the results of last year’s measles immunization campaign.
She noted that already some countries in southern Africa are already using it with tremendous success. “We shall learn and study how other nations that have utilized the insecticide without affecting their agricultural industry,” Mugo said.
The minister noted that the government will ensure that the insecticide does not affect horticultural exports to Europe and America .
“We shall ensure that Kenya ’s products comply with the stringent pesticide residue laws in the destination markets,” she said. She said that all countries that have managed to eradicate malaria have used DDT insecticide.
“It is safe so long as it kept out of the agricultural fields and only used around households. The government shall therefore assist our local health experts to develop a safe DDT program,” Mugo said.
The ministry of health said that Kenya is currently using insecticide treated nets as well as indoor residue spraying but it is a huge task for the nation to replace the over 11 million nets in use every three years.
She said that another great hope to eradicate malaria in Kenya is the use of vaccine, which is currently been developed.
Mugo noted that even if one African country eradicates malaria it will be futile if its neighbors don’t achieve the same. She said that if Kenya is to eradicate malaria related deaths by 2017, it must step up its activities and strategies.
She added that Kenya was among the 13 countries in Africa that were feted during the 20th ordinary session of the African Union held last month.
World Health Organization Kenya Representative Dr Custodia Mandlate said that her organization will support Kenya ’s quest to control malaria through the use of DDT.
“The insecticide targets the vector that causes malaria and if safely used will not affect agricultural industry,” she said.