THE Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) has sprayed about 200 upcountry buses with pesticide to control transmission of dengue fever from Dar es Salaam to the regions, it has been learnt.
Acting SUMATRA Director General, Gilliard Ngewe, told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam that the exercise, which involved buses arriving at the Ubungo Bus Terminal (UBT) began last Saturday.
The spraying was done a day before departure for the upcountry-destined ones. "We are spraying insecticide to buses a day before departure to avoid harming passengers," he said.
On Friday, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Saidi Meck Sadiki, said that a total of 389 city residents had been diagnosed with the disease since January.
"I have directed SUMATRA to prepare guidelines on how to carry out the exercise aimed at checking the transmission of the pandemic to other regions," the RC told reporters. He said a total of 11 people were admitted for diagnosis and treatment at three city hospitals namely Temeke, Amana and Burhani.
Three of them have reportedly died from the disease. Mr Sadiki pointed out that the region has embarked on a programme to raise awareness to members of the public and that about 60 medical staff in all the three municipalities (Temeke, Ilala and Kinondoni) have received education on the disease.
"We have provided medical staff with education on the fever to enable them handle reported cases professionally," said the RC. Mr Sadiki said about 940 litres of "Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis" (BTI) pesticide have been supplied to 58 wards in the city and that the region has supplied the insecticide to public offices.
Deputy Health Minister, Kebwe Steven Kebwe, recently told the National Assembly that the government has already spent 132m/- in the war against the disease since its outbreak in January.
Dr Kebwe was giving a government statement on the pandemic following the demand for an official statement made in the House on Monday by the MP for Kigamboni, Mr Faustine Ndugulile (CCM).
He said the government has ordered 750 test kits for the diseases, which were expected to arrive in the country anytime from now.
The deputy minister said there were 350 test kits available currently, which he noted were enough to serve for two months if the disease will continue.
According to Dr Kebwe, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), were conducting further research on the disease to establish its scope as well as the behaviour of the Aedes mosquito that spreads it. He said the research will cover Dar es Salaam and eight other regions with satellite centres.
The deputy minister informed the House that dengue was not new in the country as it had also broken out in 2010, affecting 40 people.