The Head of Operations of AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Limited (AGAMal), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), says the organisation aims to ensure that no malaria cases are recorded in Ghana.
“We dream that very soon, we have to reach zero malaria in Ghana, and that would come through some of the interventions of AGAMal as well as other interventions carried out by the Ghana Health Service and the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).”
The Head of Operations said this in an interview in Sandema after he facilitated a refresher training programme for Supervisors and Operators in the ongoing Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise in the Builsa area of the Upper East Region.
The exercise is funded by the Global Fund, AngloGold Ashanti and Next Generation IRS.
Mr Assan, who was in the company of Isaac Kwakye-Appiah, the Zonal Social and Behaviour Change Communications Officer and Mr Abraham Adotey Sacker, the Zonal Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, indicated that “We are here as part of our routine visits to the Districts to support them.”
About three Supervisors and 71 Operators, who took part in the training programme, were reminded of their basic duties as they moved into the communities within the Builsa North and South Districts for the IRS exercise.
AGAMal had over the years embarked on IRS exercises in the Region with the aim of fighting the menace of malaria in communities, and further reduce malaria mortality in the Region, especially in Districts with high recorded cases of the disease.
Mr Assan said in this year’s exercise, AGAMal operated in three Regions namely Ashanti Region, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
He said except for the Upper West Region where all 11 Districts benefitted from the exercise, in the Ashanti Region, only the Obuasi Municipal and Obuasi East District benefitted, while the beneficiary Districts in the Upper East Region included; the Kassena-Nankana West and the Builsa South Districts, and the Builsa North Municipality.
He said even though the IRS exercise was tedious, both Supervisors and Operators had so far worked diligently to ensure that malaria cases were reduced to the barest minimum in their operational areas.
On why the IRS exercise was not extended to all Districts of the Upper East Region, Mr Assan said “In most cases IRS is deployed to places where there are high incidents, and these are the places NMCP adopted for us to do IRS”.
Addressing concerns of wrong timing for the IRS exercise and the efficacy of the insecticide by some community members, he explained that there was the need to deposit the insecticide on walls of rooms before the mosquito density became high.
“The density of mosquitoes becomes high when we have rainfall and therefore the insecticide deposit must be on the walls of people’s living rooms before the rainfall sets in, so that when they pick the lethal dose they can die off and drastically reduce the density of mosquitoes.”
He emphasised, “The insecticide is efficient, and malaria cases in the hospitals have dropped drastically; therefore, people should not have the perception that the insecticide is not potent.”
He encouraged the general public, especially in their operational areas, to accept the IRS exercise so that they would be protected from mosquito bites and malaria.
The Builsa North and South District Operations Officer of AGAMal, Madam Valeria Abakisi, expressed gratitude to the Head of Operations and his team for the visit and the refresher training programme for Supervisors and Operators of the exercise.