To help speed the fight against malaria, Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL), Damang Mine has encouraged its host communities to use mosquito repellants.
The Community Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Mr Abdel-Razak Yakubu, gave the advice at a durbar when the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF) in collaboration with the Health Directorate in Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality observed this year’s World Malaria Day in Huni-Valley.
“Harness innovation to reduce malaria disease burden and save lives” was the theme for 2022 celebration.
He explained that “Though the use of mosquito repellant come at a cost we are pleading with our host communities to adopt this practice. The Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) help at night while asleep but the repellants protect as we go about our work during the day.”
Over the years, the Mine distributed ITNs, organized clean-up campaigns and other activities to mark the day, they decided to introduce the use of mosquito repellants among their catchment communities because this year the theme centered on using innovation to combat malaria, Mr Yakubu explained .
“According to the World Health Organization, malaria is one of the most common disease in the world and it affects children and pregnant women disproportionately. It is for this reason that the Foundation’s support is tailored towards pregnant women.”
Mr Yakubu stated that in 2018, the Foundation distributed 300 ITNs to breastfeeding and expectant mothers within their host communities and this was aimed to support the Ghana Health Service (GHS) initiative of providing ITNs and promoting it use to prevent malaria.
This year, he said, based on GHS advice, the Foundation has donated mosquito repellants to complement their aspiration of distributing ITNs to pregnant women who visited ante-natal clinics, adding, baby diapers were also presented to nursing mothers. All the items cost GH￠25,000.00”.
“The Foundation would continue to support the fight against malaria in its host communities with a behavioural change communication strategy and this include entreating community members to develop the habit of sleeping under ITNs and keeping their surroundings clean to prevent the breeding of mosquito,” Mr Yakubu added.
The GFGF since its inception in 2004 has Invested over US $898,000 on health projects and other activities.
The Municipal Health Director, Mr Joseph Kwame Sampson, lauded Damang Mine for putting in more effort to eradicate malaria from its host communities.
He entreated the public that anytime somebody turned out to be feverish they should send the person to the nearest health facility for medical attention, stressed that, “Most of them it depended on their health seeking behavior, some may try to do home made preparations and when thing gets complicated then they rush to the hospital.”
He urged the sick to visit the health facility for proper diagnosis and treatment to help reduce deaths and complications associated with malaria.
The World Malaria Day is observed annually to raise awareness of the global effort to control and ultimately eradicate malaria.