Collaboration in IRS Scale-Up in Ghana

Apr 2010
In the northern savannah zone, the PMI-supported program, which is implemented in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), covered six contiguous districts and reached more than 708,000 people in 2009; two more districts will be added in 2010.
In Karaga, Ghana, a community mobilizer talks with a family about an upcoming IRS program and the spray schedule for the area. In Ghana, coverage rates averaged more than 90 percent, reflecting communities' support for IRS. Source: Issah Shamwill/RTI

With a patchwork of IRS programs across a diverse landscape, Ghana is undertaking an ambitious scale-up of IRS for malaria control. The program is based on a four-way collaboration among the Government of Ghana, the private mining company AngloGold Ashanti (AGA), and PMI, and with significant financial support from the Global Fund.

In the southern forest zone, AGA has conducted malaria control operations in Obuasi District since 2005. AGA's well regarded program has focused on IRS and targeted larviciding, but also has supported a scale-up of ITNs and ACTs. A 75 percent reduction in malaria was recorded in the company's workforce between 2005 and 2008.

To prepare for spraying, women empty their homes of their possessions to allow the sprayers to have access to their interior walls. Once the walls have dried, which usually takes two hours, the women will be able to move their belongings back into their homes. Source: Issah Shamwill/RTIIn the northern savannah zone, the PMI-supported program, which is implemented in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), covered six contiguous districts and reached more than 708,000 people in 2009; two more districts will be added in 2010. PMI's program has been characterized by a strongly collaborative approach. Community mobilizers rely upon existing GHS health volunteer networks and have enjoyed the full support of the area's traditional leaders. Spray operators are recruited from local communities with the help of GHS. Entomologic monitoring is conducted in collaboration with the University of Ghana and GHS Northern Region staff. AGA has provided valuable assistance in such areas as community sensitization, training of trainers, and training of spray operators in the field. Monitoring visits have been conducted by the NMCP and the Ghanaian Environmental Protection Agency staff from Accra and the regional capital Tamale.

Ghana's national malaria control strategy calls for a scale-up of IRS to one-thrid of the country's 138 districts. To this end, Ghana, with assistance from PMI, WHO, and AGA, was recommended to receive a Global Fund grant in October 2009 for implementation of IRS in 35 additional districts by 2013, with AGA as the grant's Principal Recipient. PMI's logistics experience will be valuable to AGA as it begins to set up its operations far from the company's mining facilities and in regions with a vast, challenging terrain.

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