The Vector Control unit of Zoomlion Ghana Limited in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has undertaken separate training programmes for staff in the various districts in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions, to enhance their technical knowledge in effective larval source management.
Larval source management entails all activities undertaken at mosquito breeding sites to reduce mosquito population and control other vector-borne diseases.
The trainees included the Malaria Focal Persons of the municipal and district assemblies (MDAs), health promotion officers, district environmental health officers and staff of Zoomlion Ghana Limited among others.
A technical team from Nugochi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of the University of Ghana who are part of the trainers took participants through effective larval source management, mapping of water bodies to demarcate potential mosquito breeding sites and the deployment of an application software for vector surveillance among others.
Dr Kwadwo Kyereme Frempong, an Entomologist with the Nugochi Institute for Medical Research who led the session on effective larvae source management explained that the anopheles mosquito that transmits malaria also transmits elephantiasis hence the need to use Bacillus thuringiensisvarisraelensis (Bti) which has been recommended for larviciding by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as efficient against mosquito larvae and safe for aquatic lives.
The Upper West Regional Health Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Osei Kuffour Afreh, who opened the training session in a statement indicated that partnership of this forms to render essential health services is in line with the SDG goal 17 which talks about sustainable partnership and urged all stakeholders in delivering vector control services to be good partners.
He said malaria prevalence in the Upper West Region is relatively low as a result of many interventions such as mosquito bed net distribution, in-door residual spraying among others implemented in the region. He added that the larviciding comes as a supplement intervention to complement existing core interventions for malaria control.
The Head of Vector Control Unit of Zoomlion, Reverend Ebenezer Kwame Addae entreated all participants to efficiently deploy the scientific knowledge gained on effective larval source management in their various localities to improve health conditions of residents in the Upper West Region.