By Pascal Kwesiga
The providers of pest control services have asked the Government to put in place a legal framework to regulate their business.
According to the Uganda pest control association, the business of spraying against pests in homes such as bedbugs, rats, cockroaches and mice has been infiltrated by "fake" service providers with scanty knowledge about the chemicals used in pest control.
The association chairperson, Christine Mugume, said some of the quacks who have entered the unregulated pest control business mix the chemicals wrongly which puts their clients' lives at risk.
"We are concerned about the health of our people because some of them come to us after they have been disappointed by quacks. We would like to ask the Government to enact a law to protect Ugandans," she added.
Brian Kalyango, a government vector control in Mityana district noted that some of the service providers use fake and dangerous pesticides in people's homes.
Speaking to journalists in Kampala on Monday, Kalyango, explained that some of the fake service providers also use agricultural pesticides to kill pests in people's homes.
"Some of them cannot read and understand the instructions we are supposed to follow before using the drugs. The wrong application of these pesticides could even be the cause of complicated diseases like cancers," he added.
Mugume said the association has tried to sensitize the people about the dangers of hiring "unprofessional and unregistered service providers", but with little success so far because of the absence of a law to protect the population.
The ministry of health permanent secretary, Dr. Asuman Lukwago, said the association has raised a very critical issue that had been probably disregarded by the policy makers.
"I have had several meeting with those people (Uganda Pest Control Association) and I believe they have a point. They raise issues in an area that has been neglected and it did not occur to us that many lives may be at risk for not regulating their activities," he added.
Lukwago explained that they are working with the ministry of agriculture to develop a regulatory framework to govern pest control and prevent the possible side effects to the population that may arise from unprofessional application of pesticides.
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