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06.05.2009 Health

Vector Control Project Reduces Malaria By 40%

By GNA - newtimesonline.com
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The incidence of malaria was reduced in the range of 40 per cent and 68 per cent from March to October 2008, following the introduction in the country  of the integrated project by Cuba vector control in March 2006.

Malaria  diminished by 62.6 per cent in a period of 10 months in the Accra Metropolis, and  there are indications that with the successful implementation of the project throughout the country, the disease could be brought  down by 80 per cent  in two years.

The vector control project is a collaborative effort between the Biological and Pharmaceutical Laboratory (LABIOFAM) Enterprise Group of Cuba, the Ministry of Health  (MOH) and other stakeholders.

Mr Felix Qunitanar Pulido, West Africa representative of LABIOFAM and Project Co-ordinator of the Malaria Control Project and Dr Hafez Tsaher, LABIOFAM partner in West Africa, made this known to the Ghana News Agency in Accra when they presented a report on the project.

Vector control measures, such as the use of biolarvicides (bactivec and griseleasf), led to 100 per cent larval reduction, in less than 48 hours after treatment.

The  project was the by-product of the 13th and 14th Ghana-Cuba Joint Commission of Co-operation, which was followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding  (MOU) between the Government of Ghana and LABIOFAM for the use of biological agents for the eradication of malaria.

The MOU aims at achieving the Millennium Development Goals, to reduce malaria cases and mortality by 50 per cent by 2010.

Following the  agreement, LABIOFAM and the MOH signed a contract to implement the project in three phases.

The first phase which covered the Accra Metropolis was started in February 2008, the second phase, which will soon begin, will embrace the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, while the third phase will span the rest of the country.

The project implementation would lead to establishment of a factory for the production of larvicides for Ghana and the West Africa sub- region.

Mr Pulido announced that the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) is adopting Ghana's Integrated Malaria Vector  Control project, as part of efforts to uproot the disease in the sub-region.

The ECOWAS initiative would be facilitated by the proposed establishment  of the factory in Ghana.

The project document has suggested the need for an integrated anti-vectoral fight in the control and prevention of malaria and other diseases and the essence of maintaining  biologic control activities in existing  potential  breeding places.

It called for environmental sanitation, Integrated vector control services at the regional and district levels and the implementation of a permanent biological land entomological surveillance system.

The report proposed the establishment of  public information and education programme in relation to preventive measures of malaria and vector control as well as the promotion of public and private  inter-sectoral collaboration at all levels.

It recommended the incorporation of the project into the National Malaria Control Programme.

Ghana is one of the countries in the sub-region mostly affected by the high prevalence of the species of mosquitoes carrying the parasites of the disease associated with the anopheles mosquito.

heAs a result, there have been reports of various diseases in the country transmitted by these vectors with malaria being the most  important disease due to its endemic nature.

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