Dr Keziah Malm (2nd from left), Programme Manager, NMEP, with Prof. Kwadwo Koram (right), Maezawa Takeo (left), Director, Vector Control Group, MITSUI Chemicals, and Justin McBeath, CEO, IVCC, launching the Vectron T500 in Accra.
Dr Keziah Malm (2nd from left), Programme Manager, NMEP, with Prof. Kwadwo Koram (right), Maezawa Takeo (left), Director, Vector Control Group, MITSUI Chemicals, and Justin McBeath, CEO, IVCC, launching the Vectron T500 in Accra.
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Insecticide resistant chemical introduced to fight mosquitoes

Ghana s malaria elimination campaign has received a major boost with the introduction of an insecticide resistant chemical that will help fight mosquitoes.

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Certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vectron T500 brings to four the number of insecticides on the Ghanaian market used for indoor residual spraying (IRS) against mosquitoes and other insects.

At the launch of the product in Accra last Tuesday, the Programme Manager of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Dr Keziah Malm, said the introduction of the new product was welcome news for the elimination programme in the country.

She said out of the three chemicals that were currently being used for IRS in some selected parts of the country, one was no longer in use as the mosquitoes had become resistant to it while the other two were gradually becoming ineffective due to prolonged use.

Dr Malm said the ideal situation was to have different types of chemicals for IRS so that they could be changed frequently so that the mosquitoes would not become resistant to them.

She further said currently, the prices of the products on the market made it difficult to implement IRS in all areas that were needed, explaining that out of about 53 districts earmarked for IRS in the country, only 28 were currently benefiting due to funding, and that when the products were many on the market it would help to bring the prices down.

Malaria burden

The Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, NMEP, Wahjib Mohammed, who spoke on the malaria burden in the country, said the disease continued to be the number one of all OPD cases in the country as malaria was endemic in the country.

He said as of 2002, Ghana had an estimated parasite prevalence of 50 per cent to 75 per cent, with children under five and pregnant women being more susceptible. The Director, Vector Control Group, Mitsui Chemicals Crop and Life Solution, Maezawa Takeo, said VECTRON T500 would support the rotation of insecticides for indoor residual spraying (IRS) in line with best practice insecticide resistance management, which is critical to preserving the long-term efficacy of vector control tools.

“VECTRON T500 has outstanding efficacy against malaria transmitting mosquitoes, including strains and populations resistant to pyrethroids and some other insecticides,” Mr Takeo said, adding that it was effective on a variety of wall surfaces, including mud and cement, and showed long residual efficacy.

Innovation

The CEO of Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), Justin McBeath, added that innovative vector control solutions such as Vectron T500 would play a critical role in the country’s malaria elimination programmes, preventing and protecting individuals and households from malaria carrying mosquitoes while also reducing the transmission of malaria in the community.

“Without such innovations, insecticide resistance will continue to spread and remain one of the biggest threats to achieving the goal of malaria elimination across Ghana and other malaria endemic countries,” he added.

A former Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute, Prof. Kwadwo Koram, who chaired the launch ceremony, said malaria continued to be a big problem in the country although a lot had been done to help curb it.

Writer’s email:[email protected]

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