Ex-VP Kazibwe urges Busoga Bishops, clan leaders in fight against malaria

Former Vice President, Dr Wandera Kazibwe in a group photo with the three Busoga Anglican Bishops on Tuesday, May 21, 2023 (Photo/Isabirye Simon Peter)

Iganga, (UG):- The former vice president of Uganda, who is also the Senior Presidential Advisor on Population and Health, Dr Specioza Wandera Kazibwe in collaboration with Busoga Health Forum (BHF) have embarked on an initiative to eradicate malaria in Busoga by ensuring mass spraying and mass treatment.

Dr. Kazibwe says a number of people in Busoga carry the infection of malaria and she says it’s better to kill the mosquitoes by mass spraying instead of using mosquito nets and that they have started community interventions by empowering some key stakeholders to take the lead in the matter and the government may come in later for support.

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While meeting the Anglican Bishops from the three dioceses in Busoga at her home in Budwege village, Bulamagi Sub County in Iganga district, Dr. Kazibwe emphasized the need to intensify mass spraying to kill the mosquitos, calling upon the Bishops and other key parties to take part. She also took them through the knowledge of goat rearing with anticipation that it can eradicate poverty.

Dr Kazibwe and Busoga Health Forum where she serves as the special advisor, on Sunday met with the clan leaders of “Baise Njiya” clan at her home village in Budwege and on Tuesday convened an engagement with Busoga Bishops; Rt. Rev Paul Samson Naimanhye Mukembo of Busoga diocese, Rt. Rev Patrick Wakula of Central Busoga diocese and Rt. Rev Paul Hannington Suubi of East Busoga diocese.

“The reason for intensifying this program is because we have looked at all the interventions that have been done like the use of bed mosquito nets and there have not been good results. What we need to do is to enable these stakeholders to support us by going down and sensitizing our people,” Dr. Kazibwe said.

Bishop Naimanhye thanked Dr. Kazibwe saying the programs have come at the right time and he urged people not to mingle politics in the programs of eradicating malaria and poverty. Bishop Suubi committed himself to joining the campaign to end malaria and eradicate poverty amongst members in his diocese through well-packed church messages.

Rt. Rev Patrick Wakula of central Busoga diocese said, “We thank God for the mission of Dr. Kazibwe to eradicate malaria and poverty. Goat rearing is cheaper and we have seen how fast it can be done, therefore I call upon the pastors, Reverends, canons, sheikhs and all of us to come on board and embrace the two programs for financial development and empowerment.”

The presidential advisor, who is the special advisor in Busoga Health Forum and spearheading the initiative, says they will start with Iganga district as a smart malaria district before extending the model to other districts in Busoga sub-region.

Dr Kazibwe says they will entrust and train the religious and clan leaders who will disseminate the message and gather support since worship centers and clans are powerful entities in Busoga.

“Research has shown that when you work with traditional societies, cultures or clan, you are able to sustain the program even when donor support goes away. When the community is directly involved in any program, it becomes easy to implement it,” Dr. Kazibwe said on Sunday while meeting clan leaders.

The minister for culture in Busoga Kingdom Mr Richard Fredrick Mafumo and the clan’s spokesperson in Busoga who is the Prime minister in Luuka Chiefdom Mr Lwigo Igulu say clan leaders are key in preserving culture since they directly interact with subjects who always obey them and urged them to sensitize people in the campaign to fight malaria in communities.

“Our clans are so responsible for preserving culture since they are directly down to the clan members. We urge all clan leaders to sensitize people in every meeting whenever given the opportunity to communicate since malaria is very dangerous and kills in the shortest time if not handled early,” Mr Mafumo said on Sunday.

The director of Busoga Health Forum Mr. Kyangwa Moses says their target is mass spraying and mass treatment starting with Iganga district before covering other districts in Busoga. He says at least 25 people die every day as a result of malaria, adding that they will empower the communities in the campaign.

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