Pesticide Use Health and Environment Project (PHE Project)
UNACOH with support from Dialogos/ ICOEPH has implemented the PHE-Uganda project since 2010. In October 2017, the project has expanded into a phase III from Wakiso and Pallisa districts to 20 districts in Uganda (i.e. 5 districts from each region) namely; Northern Region; Adjumani, Apac, Gulu, Kitgum & Nebbi. Eastern region; Budaka, Bugiri, Kumi, Pallisa & Kapchorwa. Central region; Kiboga, Kayunga, Rakai, Ssembabule & Wakiso and Western region; Bushenyi, Kibale, Kamwenge, Masindi & Ntungamo. The Project aims at promoting safer use of pesticides by handlers such as farmers, Agro-input Dealers and improving diagnosis and management of pesticide poisoning illnesses by health care workers with a purpose of reducing cases of pesticides poisoning. From the previous phase I & II, the project has benefited Public Health Spray men (Fumigators), Agro-input dealers, Flower farm employees, VHTs (Village Health Team Members), Primary School children, Health Care workers, Health Inspectors & Health Assistants and farmers through knowledge sharing.
Due to increasing agricultural industrialization, Uganda is challenged to produce more food for the ever-increasing population, as well as protect agricultural populations from harmful effects of agricultural pesticides. The Pesticides Use, Health and Environment (PHE)-Project Phase III (2017-2020), will be focusing mainly on, gathering existing and generating new knowledge for dissemination, to raise knowledge nationally and globally on reducing the negative effects of pesticides on health and environment and advocate for a national mainstreaming of sound pesticide management and prevention of poisonings by different CSOs, Private and Public stakeholders starting in the above mentioned 20 districts and national wide.
- The project in its previous phases I & II has identified, trained and monitored clinical workers at health center IIIs and above (where pesticide poisoning cases have been collected and a poisoning data base for the two districts Wakiso and Pallisa has been created) but also monitored health inspector, agricultural extension workers, teachers, Agro-input dealers, flower farm employees, public health spray men, farmers and VHTs. These guided community level project implementations.
- At district level, the project promotes a functional multi-sector, multi-disciplinary District Pesticides Committee (DPC) and is engaging in district council meetings aiming at lobbying for safety policy influence and implementation to fulfill the goal of preventing pesticides poisoning nationally.
- At national level there is an inter-sector Project Steering Committee (PSC) comprising of representatives from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Makerere University School of Public Health, Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, among other stakeholders.
- The PSC promotes a national pesticides safety agenda, including lobbying for a National Pesticides Centre (information, training, research, treatment) and mainstreaming pesticide poisoning into the national HMIS.