The discovery of a new breed of mosquito that can transmit malaria in some parts of the Greater Accra Region is raising concerns in Ghana. According to the Ghana Health Service, the Anopheles stephensi mosquito, which is usually found in Asian countries, has been detected in Tuba and Dansoman. What is worrying is that this breed of mosquito cannot be killed by normal insecticides that are used to control the mosquito population. This is the first time that this breed of mosquito has been detected in West Africa.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by a parasite that is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito. The disease is a great drain on many national economies and keeps many countries in a vicious cycle of disease and poverty. In 2020, the World Health Organization estimated that 241 million clinical cases of malaria occurred globally, and 627,000 people died of malaria, with most of the deaths occurring in Africa.
The presence of a robust mosquito species that can thrive in water sources and withstand harsh environmental conditions poses a significant concern. If this species becomes established in the local mosquito population, it is likely to result in an increase in overall mosquito numbers, which could lead to a heightened risk of malaria transmission. Therefore, it is imperative to take proactive measures to prevent the proliferation of such mosquito species through effective environmental management practices.
The Socialist Movement of Ghana calls on the public to ensure that their environment is kept clean and sanitation is sustained to prevent these new breed mosquitoes from breeding and multiplying to cause harm to the public’s health. We also call on the Government of Ghana to immediately resume consultations with the Cuban Government on the revival of the malaria eradication project, which was abandoned about six years ago. There can be no good reason for the increase in the transmission of malaria when many countries around the world have effectively eradicated the disease.
In conclusion, it is crucial to be concerned about the persistence of the Anopheles stephensi mosquito species, as it could potentially lead to a surge in the mosquito population within Ghana. This, in turn, heightens the risk of malaria transmission. By implementing effective measures, such as environmental management and individual-level precautions, we can effectively combat malaria parasites. When each person takes responsibility for treating mosquito bites appropriately, even if a mosquito does bite, it will not be able to transmit parasites from one person to another. This collective effort at the individual level can contribute significantly to reducing the transmission of malaria and minimizing its impact on communities.