Dr John Ekow Otoo, Deputy Director of Public Health at Eastern Region Health Directorate

Eastern Regional Deputy Director of Public Health (DDPH), Dr John Ekow Otoo, has stated that malaria is one of the endemic diseases in our communities.

He has therefore advised Ghanaians to take malaria preventive measures seriously.

Dr Otoo made the observation while speaking to journalists after a one-day Larval Source Management (LSM) training workshop held in Koforidua, Eastern Region, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

The training was organised by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), under its National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Limited NAMCOP Unit with experts drawn from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).

It brought together 96 participants from 11 districts.

The districts were New Juabeng North, New Juabeng South, Asuogyaman, Lower Manya, Yilo Krobo, Akuapem South, Nsawam Adoagyiri, Suhum Municipal, Abuakwa South, West Akim Municipal and Kwaebibirem as sentinel.

Participants at the training of Larval Source Management in Koforidua, Eastern Region

According to Dr Otoo, LSM is a very crucial malaria intervention and the training will 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 mosquitos.

He described the GHS partnership with Zoomlion as a “great relief.” 

Dr Otoo reiterated that GHS was always ready to provide better and quality services to the good people of this country.

“Basically, I am expecting my team of officers, that is, the district directors, the malaria focal person and all their entire officers, to be at the forefront of health delivery in the district.

“We expect that especially district directors, would be very much involved and make sure that the work is done to satisfaction,” he urged.

Dr Otoo 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 for the programme.

“This LSM training is a laudable initiative because it will empower health officers to do their job diligently, adding that 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 gained.

On his part, the Zoomlion Regional General Manager, Mr George Aguedze said the product used in the previous spraying exercise has been improved in an efficacious way to fight the malaria vector.

According to him, the training will equip participants with skills to be able to identify mosquito breeding sites through a mapping exercise.

“We have been having this programme for the past three (3) 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 will ease their work.