Nii Abossey Kotey, a research officer of Free Africa from Mosquitoes (FAFAM), a non-governmental organisation, on Friday advised the public to keep their environment clean to prevent high risk incidence of malaria during the rainy season.
He said the unusually heavy amount of rain over the last few days in the country would surely create additional stagnant water, which would eventually be the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Nii Kotey gave the advice during an educational tour to the Abokobi-Pantang refuse dumping site, which is a typical mosquito breeding grounds with open ponds and scattered empty containers.
He called on all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies to ensure regular spraying of all refuse dumping sites and ensure that unused wells, ponds, paddy fields and tanks are either covered or destroyed to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Nii Kotey said FAFAM is of the view that education is important for any meaningful action and pledged to continue to sensitise the public on the need to adopt the easiest, cheapest and most environment-friendly method of preventing the development of mosquito larvae.
He noted that poor drainage systems, a common feature in various parts of the country, are major setback to efforts to control the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.
“Unless these breeding sites, which mostly are man-made and temporary, are taken care of, more importantly, during rainy season, control and eradication of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria would be a mirage,” he said.
Nii Kotey explained that the anopheles mosquito causative agent for malaria, breed in natural water collections and therefore increases in numbers during rainy season when water collected in tyres, buckets, tender coconut shells, utensils and empty tins among other things are thrown out in the open.
“All such things should be destroyed, removed or at least kept inverted so that water cannot collect in them during rainy season,” he said.
Nii Kotey said FAFAM’s research team in collaboration with various communities occasionally organise surveys and spraying of potential mosquito breeding sites and ensure that the people are made owners of the project to ensure its sustenance.
Mr Paul Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of FAFAM, appealed to other organisations to support the fight in eradicating mosquito breeding grounds.
He said FAFAM intends to create mosquito clubs to educate children on mosquito control in schools and commission ‘mosquito soldiers’, to tour the communities to occasionally spray mosquito larvae in open drains, ponds and refuse dumps.