An annual campaign has been launched in the Northern Region to spray households to prevent the spread of malaria. The spraying is known as “Indoor Residual Spraying,” which is the application of long-acting insecticides on the walls of houses in order to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes that land close to where people sleep.
Dr. Eric Tongren, Resident Advisor with USAID/Ghana, President’s Malaria Initiative, remarked on the impressive results of malaria prevention interventions in the Northern region over recent years: “In the Northern region, we have seen a significant reduction in malaria prevalence in children under five — from 40 percent in 2014 to 25 percent in 2016, based on household surveys. Malaria deaths also dropped by a remarkable 71 percent in the Northern region between 2015 and 2017.
These are amazing accomplishments, but we have seen in the past that a resurgence of malaria is possible if we become complacent and reduce our efforts. We must stay focused on our goal of eliminating malaria in Ghana.”
The USAID President’s Malaria Initiative works across 24 countries in Africa to equip countries to plan and implement indoor residual spraying programs and other proven, life-saving malaria vector control interventions, with the overall goal of reducing the burden of malaria. In Ghana, USAID works with the National Malaria Control Program and the Noguchi Medical Research Institute to detect and respond to insecticide resistance and indoor residual spraying efficacy through the monitoring of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. To ensure that the interventions are properly adopted by communities, USAID supports social behavior change communication and mobilization activities to increase acceptance of vector control interventions.
In 2008, the Government of Ghana launched indoor residual spraying operations with support from the USAID President’s Malaria Initiative. Indoor residual spraying is a component of the Government of Ghana’s current National Malaria Control Strategy and Ghana’s Strategic Plan for Malaria Control 2014-2020, with the goal to “protect at least 80 percent of the population at risk with effective malaria prevention interventions by 2020.” From its initial launch in 2008, every annual indoor residual spraying campaign in Ghana sprays more than 300,000 structures and protects more than 800,000 people, especially children and pregnant women, from malaria in targeted districts in the Northern Region.