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TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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The mosquito terminator

A man who was so sick with malaria that he attended his job interview in an ambulance has been actuated by he experience to become the “chief mosquito terminator “of Obuasi.

This encounter with malaria 11 years ago came before he joined his colleagues on a trip to South Africa to be trained in Malaria Vector Control and Management in Mpumalanga after a rigorous interview by AngloGold Ashanti to begin a corporate social responsibili ty programme in indoor residual spraying (IRS) in Obuasi.

For a decade, Eric Obu Buetey learned on the job how to terminate mosquito with IRS and has earned the distinguished office of Head of Operations, Research and Communications of the AGAMal programme.

“I was sick with malaria when I was called to attend an interview for training in IRS. I asked that the hospital's ambulance be sent to pick me. When I got to where the interview was, I saw a lot of people but I was quickly ushered in”.

At that time, Eric, as he prefers to be called, said he did not know anything about malaria except that it was caused by mosquitoes. However, due to his zealous nature and the strong will that he attaches to any work that he was given to do, he was given the job together with two other colleagues.

“Getting the slot to go to South Africa was one thing and the training was something else”, he “We trained for six weeks in the correct implementation of IRS.

And the training was tough but I am proud to say we came back and set-up the project without any “Getting the slot to go to South Africa was one thing and the training was something else”, he said.

“We trained for six weeks in the correct implementation of IRS. And the training was tough but I am proud to say we came back and set-up the project without any external technical support.”

Today, the AGAMal project has become a referral centre for international bodies and has received awards and recognition including the Global Business Coalition award (GBC award) for the Best Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

In his youthful days, eradication of mosquito was not his passion. He was trained over three decades ago as a first aid attendant and worked at the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital (Edwin Cade Memorial hospital) in Obuasi. That was his source of livelihood for 20 years.

“I am passionate about everything I do so that it succeeds,” he said. With his work as a first aid attendant, he was attached to the medical department where he catered for people injured at the mines.

He worked for 12 years in the medical department and from 1993 to 2006 he was attached to the Mining Training Department to t rain miners on emergency procedure underground.

A member of the St. Johns Ambulance Service and the Ghana Red Cross Society, he was sent for the Mine Rescue Brigade Training from July to August 1998 organized by the Ghana Chamber of Mines. His knowledge in first aid and being a mine rescuer enabled him to rescue miners who get trapped underground in their line of duty.

He was also trained in General Health and Safety in August 2000, attended a Life Saver International Course at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in July 2000 and a First Aid Trainer Tutor Course in Avon in Br istol, UK f rom August to September, 2002.

Mr Buetey's leadership qualities began manifesting after all these trainings and therefore his employers in July 2003 took him through a course in Leadership and Team Building and the practice of supervision.

The year 2004 was the beginning of his work in malaria after his training in South Africa. He has also trained at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi in Public Health Administration and Malaria control.

With a lot of people working under him as spray operators, supervisors and communi ty-based advocators, he was sent on a course in General Management Training at the Graduate School of Business at the Cape Town University in South Africa.

With the training and recruitment of thousands of spray operators in the Ashanti Region, Upper West and East regions and the Western Region to his credit, Mr Buetey likes to work with people who have enthusiasm for their work.

“Initially, I did not have the patience for people who were dull or slow in executing their work. But, today I have learnt to embrace all of them because I have been taught that they also have something to contribute,” he said.

A quote in his office at Obuasi which says “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go with people,” sums it all up.

A family man, married with six dependents, he has developed a training manual for spray operators as well as standard operation procedures for IRS operations.

A trainer of trainers, he has trained IRS operators in other AngloGold oncessions in Guinea, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as trained spray operators in the eradication of Dengue fever-causing mosquitoes in Mali in 2010.

He has also trained officials of the National Malaria Control Programmes in Liberia, Nigeria and recently Gambia on the effective use of IRS to combat malaria.

In 2008 he trained spray operators of the President Malaria Initiative (PMI) programme sponsored by the USAID and carried out in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana.

In all his work, Mr Buetey said he ensures that the World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribed standards for IRS are duly followed for success during the programme implementation.

While believing that the AGAMal programme has come to stay, he acknowledged the challenge with funding; a situation which he said led to the programme being decommissioned from its original 25 operational districts to only nine in the Upper West Region and the Obuasi Municipality in the Ashanti Region.

Being a popular figure among the people in the Obuasi Municipality by virtue of his role in the IRS programme, Mr Buetey is often acknowledged by scores of people in the streets asking when his team will be spraying their homes again.

Mr Buetey says his work in AGAMal makes him feel fulfilled in life. The mere fact that terminating mosquitoes from within communities was putting smiles on the faces of people was enough for him.

However, this “encyclopaedia on IRS” believes that “We can only fight malaria when we do it from the regional point of view”.
 

Editions: 
Special Edition Two