Madam Valeria Abakisi, the Operations Officer of the AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Limited (AGAMal)in the Builsa North Municipality says some residents in the area are unwilling to have their rooms sprayed in the ongoing Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise.
“Some residents say it is not raining season, and they don’t sleep in their rooms because of the hot weather, so they don’t see the need to have their rooms sprayed.”
Madam Abakisi said this when she spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Sandema, the Builsa North Municipal capital on challenges of the three-month IRS exercise which started on March 29 this year.
She said some residents expressed unwillingness for the exercise when officials of AGAMal moved across the Districts to educate them on the importance of the IRS, and the need to have their rooms sprayed.
She said after the SumiShield 50WG insecticide, the chemical used for the exercise was sprayed on the inner walls of rooms, and would last on for a period of nine months, and protect them from mosquito bites.
According to the Operations Officer, some residents said until they saw or heard the sound of mosquitoes in their rooms, especially during the raining season, there was no need to have their rooms sprayed.
Meanwhile the rains would start in June.
“Why we decided to embark on the exercise this season is because during the raining season, we will not be able to move to certain communities because of our road network. But since the insecticide will last for nine months on the wall, it will still protect them even in the raining season,” she explained.
Madam Abakisi, who also oversees the Builsa South District, noted that there were different species of mosquitoes, “Our target is the female anopheles mosquito because that is what causes malaria. Even though the insecticide kills the other species of mosquitoes, those are not our target.
“The female anopheles mosquitoes do not make noise as some residents may want to hear. The other species make the noise and so if you want to hear the sound of mosquitoes at this time, you properly would not, but the female anopheles mosquitoes are there.”
She observed that most residents in the area had lots of food stuffs stored in their rooms and were not ready to move them out for the exercise.
This, she said had reduced their coverage in the communities and further affected their target.
Madam Abakisi said the on-going exercise, funded by the Global Fund, AngloGold Ashanti and Next Generation IRS was done under strict COVID-19 safety protocols, insisting that safety, was the first value of AGAMal which was observed in the exercise.
A total of 759 houses with 6,966 rooms had so far been sprayed in the Builsa North Municipality while in the Builsa South District, 428 houses and 3,593 rooms were covered.
Out of the 15 Districts in the Upper East Region, the Kassena-Nankana West, Builsa North and South Districts, were the only Districts benefitting from the IRS and would not benefit from the about 613,260 Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets to be distributed by the Ghana Health Service in the Region.