The National Malaria Control Programme has organised a one-day training workshop in Larval Source Management (LSM) for key stakeholders in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

The aim of the LSM training is to equip the participants with knowledge and techniques in LSM and the use of a vector control tool, targeted at mosquito breeding sites, to reduce mosquito breeding in the country.

The training, which would be replicated across the country, brought together about 70 health workers from 10 districts in the Upper East.

The training programme is organised in partnership with the Ghana Health Service, Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR) and Zoomlion Ghana Limited.

Training programme

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, May 10, 2021, a Senior Research Fellow at NMIMR, Dr Kwadwo Frempong, said that the training will be an add-on to the already Malaria control programmes in the country, which are the indoor residual spraying and the use of long-lasting insecticide nets.

“The Larval Source Management is going to support these two major control programmes being that there are quite a number of advantages of this Larval Source Management. It involves helping the participants to identify mosquito species and then helping them to know the sources where mosquitoes basically breed,” he explained.

According to Dr Frimpong, one of the advantages of LSM is helping to control mosquitoes at the larva stage.

He said it also helps control behavioural issues/changes in adult mosquitoes which the IRS and LLINs do not but only target mosquitoes that rest and feed indoors.

He said that the LSM, when implemented appropriately, would lead to the enormous benefit of communities.

“We can have a community supporting the control of mosquitoes because we have one aspect of it which is environmental management where the community is involved.”

Senior Vector Control Officer, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Abel Djangmah

Good chemicals used

Speaking to journalists after the workshop, a Senior Vector Control Officer, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Abel Djangmah, described the training as crucial to reducing mosquito breeding in the country.

He said the chemical used by his outfit to fight the mosquito larvae was a biological product which only worked in water bodies.

“Last year, we were using Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti). It works best when you put it into water bodies. One challenge that we had with what we were using previously, that was 2009 and 2020, is that the chemical or the biological agent is able to last just within one week. So every week, you have to go and do reapplication,” he said.

He indicated that the previous method was quite exhaustive, time-consuming which put a lot of financial constraints on the project.

“But thankfully, this time around, we are shifting from the one-week spraying to monthly larviciding. So instead of doing the spraying every week, the product is able to last within the environment for one month. So after a one-month duration, you go back again and do the reapplication,” he said.