Urgently find antidote to invasion of strange mosquitoes

 The invasion of a new breed of mosquitoes caus­ing illness in four districts in the Eastern Region should be a great concern not only to experts who should find the antidote to the situation but also the rest of the country.

The districts are Akyeamansa, Achiasi, Birim South, and Birim Central and so far, at least 300 people have been taken ill from the bites of the mosquitoes.

It is very good that the District Chief Executives (DCEs) of the affected four assemblies in the Eastern Region have called on the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to help curb the invasion of the new breed of mosquitoes.

The mosquitoes, typically found in cocoa farms, are said to be large and black with some whitish markings.

The reports of the DCEs have come in timely because they have prompted the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to put together a team to investigate the situation and the findings used to address it.

We believe in the competence of the GHS in dealing with a situation like this because it has handled a similar situation before.

It will be recalled that in April, last year, the GHS confirmed the presence in the country of a new mosquito species, Anopheles stephensi, described as a malar­ia-transmitting species.

The GHS investigated it and came out with its characteristics that made it unique from al­ready-known malaria-transmitting mosquito species.

For instance, the GHS said the Anopheles stephensi, had the ability to breed in a variety of sources besides the traditional sites noted for the breeding of Anopheles.

Then in addition, it could sur­vive in extremely high tempera­tures during the dry season when malaria transmission usually declines, making it difficult to control.

However, the GHS formed a task force to coordinate and advise on actions to combat Anopheles and then called on its partners to support in intensi­fying education, particularly on environmental management, to reduce all the sites conducive for breeding mosquitoes, while it continued to monitor the spread of Anopheles Stephensi.

Then it advised the public to take precaution such as sleeping under insecticide-treated mosqui­to nets, using mosquito repellents and wearing clothing that pro­tects people from mosquito bites outside their homes.

We believe GHS would, as usual, follow the best practice measures in dealing with the current situation, but until its investigations are completed, we do not think it would be wrong for the public to follow existing measures used to combat mos­quito invasion.

Thus, we think to start with, all cocoa farms must be sprayed and other existing measures followed, including seeking medical care.

Therefore, those bitten by the new species of mosquitoes yet to be identified must seek medical care rather than doing self-med­ication.

Our only appeal is that the GHS should work with the urgency the situation deserves and stop the rising numbers of cases being recorded in the four districts before they would spread to other parts of the country  

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