Uganda is set to adopt a newly developed technique in the fight against malaria which involve use of environmentally friendly natural extracts- Chlorophyll.
Developed by Egyptian researchers, the technique involves sprinkling powdered plant extracts on swampy mosquito nurseries. The program will soon be rolled out to destroy the malaria-spreading vector right from its breeding places.
The technique involves adding a derivative of a plant pigment -Chlorophyll to wetlands infested with aquatic mosquito larvae.
Chlorophyll is extracted from green plants and transformed into a powder which is sprinkled in places where larvae are found.
According to researchers, the powder is effective for 21 days, and the extraction process itself is not expensive. 2012 field experiments in wetlands of Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda that are full of malaria transmitting mosquitoes, showed that the technique killed 85 to 100 percent of mosquito larvae.
“SAFE is a chlorophyll extract that is applied to mosquitoes breeding sites and by natural solar chemical reactions, the mosquito larvae which ingests the chlorophyll die. Plans are under way to roll this out in Kigezi, Mid North and eventually the entire country” Heath Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng tweeted.
According to the minister, use of chlorophyll has already started in Uganda.
Uganda has the sixth highest number of annual deaths from malaria in Africa, as well as some of the highest reported malaria transmission rates in the world, with approximately 16 million cases reported in 2013 and over 10,500 deaths annually.
Researchers say it is a natural method to kill mosquitoes that are a vector for malaria, and causes no environmental damage.