Public Should Consent to Malaria Spraying in Mozambique, Health Official Says
The public must take an active role in Mozambique's fight against malaria by allowing indoor insecticide spraying, and a law should be passed to bar residents from refusing spraying without a legitimate reason, Elsa Nhamntumbo from the Maputo Provincial Health Directorate said recently at a seminar in Namaacha, Mozambique, AIM/AllAfrica.com reports.
Spraying campaigns have had limited success in Mozambique because some people refuse to allow teams from the Ministry of Health to spray their homes, according to AIM/AllAfrica.com. In addition, some people think that the insecticide does not effectively kill mosquitoes and also attracts cockroaches and other pests, which is why they refuse the spraying, AIM/AllAfrica.com reports. Speaking at a seminar organized by the not-for-profit Malaria Consortium, Nhamntumbo said cockroaches and other insects are irritated by the spraying, adding the insecticide targets the anopheles mosquito -- the only mosquito species that transmits malaria.
The health ministry has said that there also has been a "lack of zeal" on the part of some of its workers. The last spraying campaign intended to cover 47 of Mozambique's 128 districts but only met 37% of its target. Nhamntumbo said the Maputo province has seen good results in its campaign to curb malaria because of spraying programs.
"People should participate in the administration of the insecticides," Nhamntumbo said, adding, "They must watch the preparation of the insecticide and be present during the spraying. Vigilance is very important, because there have [been] many irregularities committed by the workers that sometimes go beyond our control" (AIM/AllAfrica.com, 6/21).