Malaria parasites - seen here infecting red blood cells - and mosquitoes do not like cold temperatures
Malaria parasites - seen here infecting red blood cells - and mosquitoes do not like cold temperatures

The AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Limited (AGAMal) targets to protect residents of the Builsa area in the Upper East Region from malaria in the ongoing Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise.

AGAMal is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which aims at fighting the menace of malaria in communities.

In the Builsa North Municipality, the non-profit Organization is expected to protect about 51,800 residents, while a total of about 33,183 residents were expected to be protected in the Builsa South District.

The exercise is funded by the Global Fund, AngloGold Ashanti and Next Generation IRS.

Madam Valeria Abakisi, the Builsa North and South District Operations Officer of AGAMal, who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Sandema, said the three-month IRS exercise started on March 29 this year across the District and Municipality.

She said the entire exercise started in 2013 with a break between 2014 and 2016, “So far the exercise has always been successful every season so we are not expecting anything different this year”.

She said three Supervisors were deployed to manage 71 Operators for the exercise within the Builsa area, “We have one Supervisor managing the Builsa South District with 24 Operators, and then we have two Supervisors overseeing the Builsa North Municipality with 47 Operators”.

Madam Abakisi said the Operators were trained personnel who moved into houses and rooms of residents under strict COVID-19 safety protocols to spray the SumiShield 50WG insecticide on inner walls of people’s living rooms including corridors where the female anopheles mosquito which transmits malaria often rested.

“When the insecticide is deposited on the wall and the mosquito rest on it, it picks the lethal dose from the wall and is not able to transmit malaria again,” the Operations Officer explained.

She cautioned residents to stay away from their rooms for a period of two hours to enable the insecticide to properly dry before they moved in, stressing that “It is not a chemical that we are supposed to ingest, so it becomes harmful when you inhale it. But when it is used for the right purpose, it is not harmful”.

Giving the details of houses covered so far in the two Districts, Madam Abakisi said a total of 759 houses with 6966 rooms were sprayed in the Builsa North Municipality, while 428 houses and 3593 rooms were covered in the Builsa South District.

She indicated that the ongoing exercise had so far protected about 8,484 people in the Builsa North area from mosquito bites in their houses, while about 4,648 residents in the Builsa South District were also protected.

Madam Abakisi noted that even though some residents welcomed the exercise despite the inconveniences, funeral activities in the area affected their operations.

“Some have funerals in their houses, while others whose houses are scheduled to be sprayed are absent. That is really affecting our operations this year. There was a ban on funeral performance last year so our operations were smooth,” she recalled.

The Operations Officer thanked the Operators and stakeholders, especially room owners for their support and cooperation in the exercise over the years.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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