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Zoomlion, others to train 10,000 people in malaria control

BY: Dominic Moses Awiah
 Dr Majambere taking the workers through the training programme
Dr Majambere taking the workers through the training programme

A nationwide training programme to equip more than 10,000 personnel in the health sector to combat malaria has began.

The training, which is under the National Malaria Control Programme (NAMCOP), will train the workers on how to effectively use larviciding, an insecticide that is specifically targeted against the larval life stage of an insect, particularly against mosquitoes.

The programme is being spearheaded by Zoomlion Ghana Limited in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

The workers will be trained to use larviciding, an insecticide that is specifically targeted at the larval life stage of an insect, particularly the mosquito, as part of the National Malaria Control Programme .

Training begins

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training programme in Accra last Sunday, the Social and Behavioural Change Communications Specialist of the NAMCOP of the GHS, Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, said the training of the workers formed part of the government's agenda to reduce, if not completely eradicate, mosquito breeding in Ghana.

He said the training programme would take place in all the regions and would involve various healthcare stakeholders, including environmental health personnel.

Mr Gakpey said the use of larviciding to combat malaria would go a long way to end malaria in the country.

Zoomlion impact

The Vector Control Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Rev. Ebenezer Addam, underscored the need for the collaboration to implement the programme, since malaria "is one of the most dangerous diseases in sub-Saharan Africa”.

He said the programme selected key players in the sector, such as Zoomlion district/municipal managers, district and municipal environmental health officers, district and municipal malaria focal persons, NAMCOP Spraying Gang leaders and community sprayers to train them on the kinds of mosquitoes, how to map for spraying and some safety measures and technicalities in the field of larviciding and mosquito control as a whole.

He explained that the process of mapping for the actual implementation of the programme in the districts and communities would be thoroughly taught in the training.

Rev. Addae indicated that the training in Accra was the first of its kind and that Zoomlion would replicate it in all the regions for the exercise to be successful.

Best approach

For his part, the Director of Scientific Operations at the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMC) and consultant of the programme, Dr Silas Majambere, said the "world is becoming aware that larviciding is one of the best approaches to reduce mosquito breeding, especially in Africa".

He said in spite of the other interventions, such as the distribution and usage of treated bed nets, diagnosis and treatment, as well as the discovery of effective medicines to treat malaria, larviciding was seen as the best control measure a government would want to undertake.