Health Minister calls for regulation of pest, vector control sector

The Minister of Health, Mr KwakuAgyeman-Manu, has urged the Pest and Vector Control Association of Ghana (PEVAG to endeavour to regulate the activities of members to ensure that the right thing was done to save human lives.

He indicated that lessons of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had taught the country so many lessons and called for closer collaboration among all stakeholders to make the association relevant to the needs of society.

The Minister noted that the spread of pests and vectors attributed to insanitary conditions must not be allowed to continue if robust technical abilities and clear-cut policies were adopted to properly regulate the sector.

He said this yesterday while inaugurating the Board of PEVAG.

Mr Agyeman-Manu hinted that effective capacity building would streamline control to eradicate mosquitoes that spread malaria, houseflies, cockroaches and rats that spread other communicable diseases.

He called for a vibrant vector control industry and urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to prioritise pest control to prevent the spread that could cost the country millions of cedis in prevention efforts.

The Minister charged the private sector to partner the ministry and other stakeholders to help the association achieve its stated objectives.

The PEVAG Board is chaired by Dr. JosephSiawAgyepong, the Executive Chairman, Jospong Group, which includes waste management company Zoomlion Ghana Limited..

The other members of  the board are Reverend Ebenezer Kwame Addo of Zoomlion and Vestorpres, Mr Atta Arhin of Coniwas, Francis Yedzi, John Deffor of the Association of Ghana Industries,(AGI), Ama Ofori Antwi, Dr Max Billa of the University of Ghana and Joseph Edmond of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The membership emanates from service providers, state regulatory bodies, researchers, agro-chemical producers, .industry, pest and vector controlling companies and university faculty, among others.

PEVAG is to provide a policy advocacy and professional networking platform among members in pest and vector control in the country as well as build capacity among members to improve and provide quality service in an environmentally friendly manner.

The association is to also collaborate with state regulatory bodies to harmonise and ensure standardisation of operations among members to promote public health.

It is expected to solidify efforts of the authorities to combat the increasing spate of pest and vector infestations.

Dr Agyepong said the theme, ‘Prioritising Infection Prevention and Vector Control: lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic’, was carefully chosen to highlight the vital role members of PEVAG had played over the past year to support the government control the spread of COVID-19.

He assured the government of more support to effectively combat the menace of increasing spread of pests and vectors within communities.

Dr Agyepong commended the pioneer executives who faced daunting tasks to bring the association to its current level such as the EPA, Coniwas, AGI and other key stakeholders for the support and assured them of building their capacities to international standards.

The Director Policy and Research of AGI, John Deffor, said the AGI was in support of  PEVAG as their role was critical toward regulating the activities of engineers, agrochemical producers, advertisers, regulators in the water sector and other such professionals.

He urged closer collaboration among all stakeholders to realise the goals of the association.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU

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