The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is set to inaugurate an experimental hut station for innovative research in managing malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in a rural community in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
The experimental hut station, which is located at Atatem in the Adansi Asokwa District, is a simplified model of an indigenous home, built to World Health Organization (WHO) standards that will allow researchers to test the efficacy of insecticides used in indoor residual spray (IRS) and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to kill disease vectors such as Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus.
The Director of BNARI, Dr. Michael Osae, made this known yesterday when he interacted with communication personnel to announce a host of activities earmarked for the 2023 annual GAEC-BNARI Malaria Awareness Campaign (MAC-2023) slated for 9th May 2023.
According to Dr. Osae, the decision to establish the hut in the Atatem community stems from prior research, which indicates that mosquito vectors of malaria are prevalent and highly resistant to insecticides. Premised on this fact, he said there is a good foundation for siting the experimental hut to test new vector control tools being developed against resistant vectors.
“Mosquito nets would be hung in the experimental hut to collect mosquitoes for the test. The mosquitoes will then be examined to determine the effectiveness of vector control tools like treated nets and insecticide sprays,” he added.
Dr. Osae stated that the experimental hut station is a highly effective way to eliminate non-responsive control measures and validate new and appropriate interventions to help control disease-transmitting mosquitoes.
“This project was established in collaboration with the Center for Research in Infectious Diseases in Cameroon through a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grants. The Center for Research in Infectious Diseases of Cameroon were awarded a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to study mosquito insecticide resistance and its impact on vector control tools across Africa. The participation of Ghana in the project enabled GAEC to be given a sub-grant to carry out this component,” he added.
Shedding light on some key activities of the awareness campaign, Dr Osae said that apart from the commissioning of the experimental hut station, there would be an awareness talk to educate community members in Atatem and its environs on malaria prevention and control.
He also indicated that there would be a free health screening exercise and distribution of free mosquito repellents for residents.
By: CPRC/CCD, GAEC