The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a U.S President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) dubbed ‘Vectorlink Project,’ Ghana 2018 spraying campaign in the Kumbungu district.
The project is to continue the agency’s commitment to tackle the deadly disease of malaria. In Ghana, the project will focus on Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) as the main malaria control strategy. At a later stage, the project will potentially support the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) with increasing usage of insecticide treated bed nets.
Starting in 2006, PMI has protected millions of people in Africa from malaria through IRS, which kills mosquitoes that transmit malaria by spraying insecticide on walls, ceilings, and other indoor resting places of these mosquitoes.
To date, the PMI’s IRS program has protects over 800,000 people in northern Ghana from malaria annually. In 2018, the Vectorlink project will continue implementing IRS in seven selected districts namely, Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo, East and West Mamprusi, Kumbungu, Mamprugu Moaduri, Gushegu and Karaga to ensure the protection of communities, especially children under the age of five and pregnant women, as they are the most vulnerable.
A speech read on behalf of the northern regional health director by the Kumbungu district health director noted that malaria remains the number one in the out-patients department (OPD) visits and in-patients’ admissions throughout the country, with some intervention put in place to address the issue.
He has therefore appealed to the chiefs and elders of the Kumbungu traditional area, policy makers in the district and stakeholders to embrace and support the initiative to eliminate malaria from the region. He also encouraged pregnant women and children to sleep under treated mosquito nets to avoid and prevent malaria.
A total of 324,000 structures in which people sleep in over 1,300 communities will be sprayed under the project this year. The Kumbungu District Chief Executive (DCE) said malaria constitutes one of the drains on the economy by affecting the productivity of people, adding that the PMI has protected millions of people from malaria through IRS and the Kumbungu district is not an exception.
He called for the entire support of the district. The program was attended by chiefs, elders, chief of party for Vectorlink Ghana project, USAID mission director, assembly members, security personnel, as well as some health personnel.
BY: LILIAN D. WALTER