10 Years Of Malaria Control In Obuasi; The People Speak!

Do you believe in Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS)? Do you think the low prevalence rate of malaria in Obuasi now is as a results of the IRS that AngloGold Ashanti introduced and has implemented till now?

 

In 2004, AngloGold Ashanti report to Society identified malaria as the biggest public health threat to its operations in Africa.  In 2005, the company initiated an integrated malaria control programme within Obuasi Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana with the aim of reducing the malaria burden among its employees by 50% within a period of two years.

It is a fact that Edwin Cade Memorial Hospital recorded a decrease in malaria cases since 2005 from 6,800 to 250 in 2015.

Malaria is the number one killer disease of pregnant women and children under five years of age in Africa. A 2011 report by the Ghana Health Service revealed that, malaria was the primary cause of morbidity and about 32 per cent of people admitted to medical facilities across the country were due to malaria.

In an exclusive interview with some assembly men and individuals in the communities of Obuasi on how the Indoor Residual Spraying has improved their standard of living; Hon. Ankapong Fofie George of Odumasi revealed that, until malaria control came to Obuasi, he and his family where prone to Malaria.

According to him, he sprays his house every season and his community bears witness that, IRS has indeed helped the community.

He suggested that, even though IRS was good, they would be happy if the malaria control team could get an insecticide that does not spoil the paintings on their walls

Hon. Thomas Owusu of Diawuso said, even though he has not tested positive for malaria, there are a lot of Mosquitoes in his community, and suggested AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control (AGAMal) does something about it.

He said, though the spraying helps, he wished his community could be sprayed at least twice in a year to ease the mosquito population in his vicinity.

In the cause of the interview, he revealed that there are lots of Sand winning activities in his community which in his view is the cause of the breeding of mosquitoes. He stressed that, if it was not for IRS, they would have died from malaria. He encouraged the malaria control team to carry on with the good work and help eradicate malaria if possible.

Hon. Yaya Musa of the Zongo Community was full of praise for AGAMal and showed a positive attitude towards the work of malaria control by IRS.

Hon Yaya Musah in white shirt- Assembly Man of Zongo and his household.

He mentioned, "even though the odour of the insecticide is bad, it really helped us because I don’t remember the last time my household or a friends in the community had malaria".
He pleaded that the IRS must continue in his community since everything about IRS is good and it has helped improved the health of most households in the community.

Madam Mavis from Tutuka Sampsomkrom lamented that, the insecticides had an unpleasant smell which discourages her to accept IRS since its inception but the Municipal Operations Manager of AGAMal enlightened her and her co-workers about IRS which was later accepted by them.

Almost everyone I spoke to confessed their appreciation towards IRS operations and they were hoping it continues till the fight for malaria eradication ends.

Malaria control IRS programme has become a household name for people in Obuasi and its environs because of its wonderful performance in reducing malaria burden  amongst the people of Obuasi.

A study from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for medical research, University of Ghana, Legon has recorded that, there has been a decrease in malaria burden from 43% in 2006 to 15% in 2014 which does not only bring hope for Ghana but an anticipation in reaching the Millennium Development Goal Target Six.

It is encouraging to know that, a lot of people believe in the Indoor Residual Spraying as the best way to eradicate malaria in not only Obuasi Municipality but other parts of the country.

On the international front, Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates lamented that malaria research "gets virtually no funding" whiles speaking before the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Global Grand Challenges Summit in London last year.

It is high time the government and other cooperate organizations in our country step in to help IRS sustainability in Ghana in order to finally eradicate malaria.

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AngloGold Ashanti (GHANA)Malaria Control

Limited Registered Office: Gold House/ Patrice Lumumba Road.

Box 2665, Accra Ghana

Email: info@agamal.org

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