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The Deputy Director of Public Health in the Eastern Regional Health Directorate, Dr John Ekow Otoo, has described malaria as an endemic disease and advised Ghanaians to take preventive measures seriously.
Dr Otoo was addressing journalists after a one-day Larval Source Management (LSM) training workshop held in Koforidua in the Eastern Region last Wednesday.
The training, which was organised by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) under its National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Limited NAMCOP Unit, had experts drawn from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).
It brought together 96 participants from 11 districts.
The districts included New Juabeng North, New Juabeng South, Asuogyaman, Lower Manya, Yilo Krobo, and Akuapem South.
The rest are Nsawam Adoagyiri, Suhum Municipal, Abuakwa South, West Akim Municipal and Kwaebibirem.
According to Dr Otoo, LSM was a very crucial malaria intervention and the training would help provide the participants with skills on how to use larviciding—the process involving the use of a biological product to spray breeding sites of mosquitoes.
He described the GHS partnership with Zoomlion as a “great relief.” He reiterated that the GHS was always ready to provide better and quality services for the people of this country.
“Basically, I am expecting my team of officers, that is, the district directors, the malaria focal persons and all their officers to be at the forefront of health delivery in the district,” he said.
“We expect that, especially district directors, would be very much involved and make sure that the work is done to satisfaction,” he advised.
He indicated that the various interventions put in place by the GHS were always being improved.
The Regional Environmental Health Officer, Mr Prince Osei Kusi, praised the organisers of the programme for the move to increase their knowledge on malaria prevention.
“This LSM training is a laudable initiative because it will empower health officers to do their job diligently. It will also complement government’s already existing malaria control interventions in reducing the population of mosquitoes in the country,” he added.
Being his first time of participating in such a training exercise, he recommended that moving forward, the participants’ net be widened to include some workers in the assemblies.
Mr Osei Kusi, therefore, advised the participants to make good use of the training and also pleaded with them to implement all the techniques learned.
For his part, the Zoomlion Regional General Manager, Mr George Aguedze, revealed that participants were selected from 11 districts in the region.
He said the product used in the previous spraying exercise had been improved on in an efficacious way to fight the malaria vector.
According to him, the training would equip participants with skills to enable them to identify mosquito breeding sites through a mapping exercise.
“We have been having this programme for the past three years; we have had training on the iPad and now they are going to improve on the iPad” he added.
Mr Aguedze also emphasised that the use of iPad and the accessibility of the LSM application would ease their work