President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, along with a team of scientists, has agreed to initiate a pilot project for a new mosquito radiation sterilization technology aimed at combating malaria in Bukedi Sub-region.
During a meeting at State House, Entebbe, President Museveni noted the suitability of Bukedi Sub-region for this pilot, citing its abundance of stagnant water and flat terrain, which creates an ideal breeding environment for mosquitoes.
“Let us start with the Bukedi Sub-region to pilot this method since the area has a lot of water, flat area, and stagnant water. This will help us solve the problem of mosquitoes and have less
patients,” President Museveni noted.
If the pilot proves successful in Bukedi, President Museveni expressed his intention to expand the application of this innovative approach to other regions across the country, thereby making a substantial impact on malaria prevention nationwide.
“Take part of the $90M which we are squandering on the malaria treatment as a country and put it here. These people are coming to save that money now and save the people who are dying.”
Mr Israel Green, the Chief Executive Officer of Malera Technologies Limited, who was present at the meeting, explained that their method involves utilizing high-level artificial intelligence technology to perform radiation sterilization on male mosquitoes. The spread of malaria can be curtailed by reducing the mosquito population’s ability to produce offspring.
The plan is to establish four fully operational factories, along with a research center dedicated to refining this approach. These facilities will be strategically deployed in regions with high malaria prevalence, as identified by the Ministry of Health, in order to achieve rapid and effective results.
The artificial intelligence technology employed by Malera Technologies will enable efficient sorting of male and female mosquitoes, ensuring that only males are selected for sterilization.
Presently, Bukedi Sub-region suffers from the highest malaria prevalence in the country. Its extensive swamps and rivers provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, contributing to the high incidence of the disease in the area.
To support the implementation of this vital initiative, President Museveni urged redirecting a portion of the $90 million allocated to malaria treatment towards funding the mosquito radiation sterilization project. This reallocation of resources will not only potentially save lives but also help conserve the national budget.
With the collaborative efforts of President Museveni, scientists, and Malera Technologies Limited, there is hope that this pilot project will pave the way for a successful and scalable solution to combat malaria and reduce its impact on vulnerable populations across Uganda.