Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a waste management company, has embarked on a massive spraying exercise in all the 26 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAS) in the Northern Region to prevent the outbreak of cholera and malaria infections following recent floods in some parts of the region.
The exercise is being conducted by the Vector Control Unit of the company.
About two weeks ago, the Tamale metropolis and the Sagnarigu District among other areas were hit by devastating floods which claimed the life of one person and displaced a lot of people.
The mass spraying exercise is to reduce disease-causing organisms in the environment, especially during the rainy season.
The unit has also begun a fumigation exercise in the Tamale Central Market, Salaga, Yendi, Bole and the Savelugu markets to rid them of rodents that destroy stored grains and other items.
The Northern Regional Vector Control Officer of Zoomlion, Mr Abdulai Abdul-Aziz Yelsuma, who is leading the exercise in the region, announced this when the company kick-started the spraying exercise at Bilpela, one of the suburbs in the Tamale metropolis which also experienced the floods.
The exercise began from the Bilpela dam site where workers of the company sprayed the major storm drains and channels in the area to kill flies, mosquitoes and other disease-causing organisms to prevent the outbreak of cholera and malaria infections.
Mr Yelsuma said the exercise would be extended to other structures and sites such as public toilets, refuse dumps, slaughterhouses, urinals and some major drains, where, he emphasised, were breeding places for disease-causing organisms.
He said the final waste disposal sites of all 26 MMDAs in the region would also be sprayed to prevent the breeding of flies, the main carriers of the cholera bacteria.
Mr Yelsuma said Zoomlion was also carrying out public education on the need for the people to cultivate the habit of using toilets instead of engaging in open defecation to prevent the spread of diseases.
He cautioned the public against eating cold foods and drinking contaminated water.
According to the officer, cholera is purely an environmental health problem and that every effort must be made to control its spread, adding, “You don’t get cholera until you have eaten food or water contaminated which faecal matter.”
He cautioned the public against the indiscriminate use of insecticides, since that could cause ‘insecticide resistance.’
Mr Yelsuma explained that the continuous use of the insecticide on a group of insect pests would make them resistant to it for which reason he further advised that the instructions on labels on insecticides should always be read carefully before use.
He commended the Mion District for placing first on the league table of districts in the region that had successfully eliminated open defecation and urged the Bunkpurugu District, which was last on the league table of the 26 MMDAs in the region, where the practice was highest, to work hard to reduce or eliminate it.