AngloGold Ashanti is embarking on a 10-day nationwide residual spraying exercise in prisons across the country in a bid to rid the facilities of mosquitoes and drastically reduce malaria among inmates and staff.
The AngloGold Ashanti (Gh) malaria program which is in partnership with the National Malaria Program, Ghana Health Service, and Ghana Prisons Service which commenced on 17 August is concurrently being carried out in all 43 prisons across the 10 regions in Ghana.
It is estimated that about 13,707 structures will be sprayed with 2,742 units of sumishield 50 WG insecticides during the exercise. The residual exercise which is backed by the Government of Ghana with support from the Global Fund, Unitaid and AngloGold Ashanti aims at eradicating malaria among vulnerable groups in the country. The intervention is expected to improve the health of prisoners by getting rid of mosquitoes and other insects in the prisons.
The Eastern Regional Commander of prisons, DDP Isaac Kofi Egyir lauded AngloGold Ashanti for the initiative and appealed to other benevolent organisations to support the facilities. He lamented over the huge sums of revenue used to cater for malaria for inmates which is affecting the development in prisons. The Commander of prisons also expressed worry over other issues bothering prison facilities in the country. DDP Egyir assured that authorities are expediting actions to salvage the situation. “So overcrowding is one of our big issues. What we do to confront the situation is that, we do from time to time, redistribute less sentenced inmates to other places for safe keeping. There’s also pardon that at times granted to deserving prisoners like amnesty, general amnesty for inmates. We have also step up our paralegal units. Paralegal units are those interfaces with the police and the courts for speedy processes on our remand prisoners. But in all these, we have in the pipeline the Prison Act which when passed has some provisions that will effectively have legal backing to deal with these issues that I have raised,” he noted.
Beneficiaries of the intervention will be protected from mosquitoes and other insects for nine months until the chemical loses it potency. Programs Director of AGAMal, Samuel Asiedu said the exercise is in line with AGAMal’s focus of eliminating malaria among vulnerable sub-populations in society. “Having tackled children under five with various interventions through bed nets and IRS at various places, we needed to also take care of other vulnerable groups that can be put together and you will acknowledge with me that prisons have a number of people that are put together. So if we can help with the inmates and officers that take care of them, that will be a good gesture.”
AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) malaria control program (AGAMal) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established by AngloGold Ashanti Ghana to combat malaria.