Malaria is still a major public health problem in Ghana. This is because Ghana is still part of the 11 high-burden countries for malaria infections in the world. Therefore, people living in waterlogged areas and places with stagnated waters have been advised to consider it a priority to keep their environment clean as a way of denying mosquitoes breeding grounds.
This, according to Ms Muniratu Venu, a Social and Behaviour Change Officer with the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) will ensure that people are protected against malaria-causing mosquitoes.
Speaking in an interview with Graphic Online, Ms Venu said there was the need to make a conscious effort to “deny mosquitoes access to habitats that will make them breed.”
She explained that denying mosquitoes access to breeding grounds will go a long way to help reduce their population, hence reducing the incidents of malaria.
This is because waterlogged places and areas with stagnated waters have been identified as conducive breeding grounds for malaria causing mosquitoes.
She therefore advised people living in waterlogged places to sleep under long lasting insecticide nets.
For her, keeping the environment clean from stagnated water will help to reduce the population of adult mosquitoes, especially female anopheles mosquitoes known for transmitting malaria, elephantiasis, among other serious diseases.
That, Ms Venu noted, people could easily put sand in objects containing water or fill stagnated waters around their homes with sand.
Similarly, she also admonished people to allow officers who have been engaged to conduct the indoor residual spraying exercise to their homes.
She expressed the concern that many of the officers engaged to carry out the indoor residual spraying, which is part of intervention of malaria control in Ghana, are often times denied access to people’s homes, hence making it difficult for them to carry out their assignment.
Ms Venu also encouraged people to refrain from the practice of sitting late in the night on their compounds, explaining that such practice exposes people to mosquito bites.
She however admonished people who stay or sit long in the night on their compounds to wear clothing that will cover their whole bodies or use mosquito coil or mosquito repellants.
She expressed worry that even though the use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) has been identified as one of the proven interventions to reduce the malaria burden, many people still don’t sleep in them.
Although the worldwide burden of malaria substantially decreased since 2010, some high-burden countries in Africa report an increase in malaria cases.