By Paul Kiwuuwa
A section of MPs on the health committee are contesting the proposal by the health ministry to spend sh2bn on procuring chemicals to treat thousands of people infected with jiggers in Busoga and Karamoja regions.
The MPs have proposed that part of the money (sh1b) be instead spent on procuring heifers for the people to provide cow dung and urine to fight jiggers in the two infested regions.
The lawmakers argued that if Government combines the spraying of chemicals with smearing cow dung and urine on the floors, jiggers could be defeated.
Kiruhura Woman MP Beatrice Barumba Rusaniya commented: “Sh 1bn may be relocated to procure heifers for distribution in the sub-county homesteads. The heifers will provide milk to the communities, for balanced diet while the dung and urine will be smeared on floors of the homestead to improve good hygiene.”
In a consultative meeting between ministers and MPs in Parliament on Tuesday, it was resolved that a vigorous anti-jigger campaign be carried out throughout Busoga and Karamoja regions.
The Director General of Health Services Dr. Jane Aceng appealed to the MPs to appropriate between sh1b to 2b to the ministry to carry out an aggressive drive to implement jiggers’ control and elimination plan in the two regions.
The committee was scrutinizing the health sector policy statement for the financial year 2014/2015, which will be presented for debate to Parliament.
Committee chairperson and Kaberamaido MP Kenneth Omona proposed that part of the money could be relocated for public sensitization.
“Offering treatment without sensitizing the communities will be useless. We agreed to apply a massive sensitization campaign involving MPs, local government leaders, religious leaders, cultural leaders and opinion leaders to undertake preventive and curative measures against jiggers. .” Omona said.
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