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    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.


    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.


    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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  • Volume 1

Myths & realities

In the small community of Ahansonyewodeaa, a suburb of Obuasi in the Ashanti region, it was common practice that any person who reported having a fever was believed to be suffering from malaria, and the first port of call was a local church.

The local pastor attended to everyone, including pregnant women and children and offered prayers anytime they presented with malaria-like symptoms.

“Every day, we hear women wailing as they bring their children to the pastor behind our building” said Adjoa Asantewaa, a house-wife, who was elected as a unit committee member for the area during the recent district level elections.

A good number of the victims brought to the church did not survive, especially the children who were often admitted with convulsion, she said.

Madam Asantewaa, who is a trained community-based advocate (CBA) on indoor residual spraying (IRS) and malar ia, said hi ther to, they believed the disease had spiritual connotations and therefore relied on men of God for healing.

Today, as a trained advocate for the AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Limited (AGAMal), she and her colleagues have been able to convince people in the area to allow their rooms to be sprayed by the IRS team to ensure protection against mosqui to bi tes and malaria.

“When AGAMal started the IRS, it was difficult to convince people to allow their rooms to be sprayed as they claimed the insecticide had an offensive smell “Madam Asantewaa noted.

But due to the feedback we relayed to the AGAMal monitoring teams, the insect icide was changed and the smell is now bearable.”

With 10 children in her household now free from malaria since the programme began, Madam Asantewaa is full of praise for the radication effort, and like Oliver Twist, she is asking that the programme be sustained in the community.

Community acceptance of the IRS project is widespread because of the visible effect it has had on the health of the people.

Sharing his experience on malaria and the IRS programme, Isaac Adu Ayim, a businessman living at the Obuasi Railways area, said the vicinity is sprayed by the IRS team twice yearly. As a result, he was happy to say he has forgotten the last time he or any member of his household suffered from malaria. He said this has helped him save a lot of money.

“Initially, I did not understand why I should allow strangers to enter my rooms for IRS, especially with the smell that the insecticide left behind for the first few hours.

But since I was educated by the CBAs on the benefits of the praying exercise, I make sure the team never misses my house,” he aid.

Kate Azuri, a businesswoman and a resident of the Obuasi Railways area, said although she and her He said a sentinel survey conducted at various facilities - Mines Hospital, Obuasi Government Hospital and the SDA Hospital- in the Obuasi municipality, showed a 75 per cent reduction in malaria cases.

The Nursing Superintendent of the Mines Hospital, Janet Osei, confirmed Dr Amankwa's statement, adding that malaria cases had reduced in the area and now most of the cases at the hospital came from outside the Obuasi Municipality.

The inclusion of community-based workers in the fight against malaria is part of the global strategy to involve key stake-holders in finding a solution to their own problem. In fact, a Roll Back Malaria (RBM) document for a malaria-free world - Action and Investment to Defeat Malaria from 2016 to 2030- emphasized the importance of community acceptance and participation in effectively dealing with malaria.

“We do not get sick. Malaria is known to be the major sickness among children but thanks to AGAMal, we are protected against it,”

“To achieve the 2030 malaria goals, we need to put the people in affected communities at the centre of all efforts to scale up the design and delivery of malaria services. Far from being an optional 'extra', people need to be our first point of reference when it comes to analysing the barriers to ccess, product or strategy design, piloting, implementation, feedback, learning and monitoring,” it said.

According to the RBM, community workers can form the “eyes and ears” of surveillance activities, as well as raise awareness of the impor tance of malaria-safe behaviour such as harvesting and storing water safely, clearing mosquito-breeding sites, good housing and keeping the environment clean.


Special Edition Two