By Mary Dompreh:
About 220 school children from eleven selected schools in the Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo Municipalities of the Eastern region have benefitted from a free distribution of mosquito nets. The insecticide nets which were distributed to the pupils in basic school in the Municipality, was under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development’s free LLINS distribution campaign Program.
The event which took place at the Anglican School Park at Odumase-Krobo on Monday, benefitted class two and six pupils of these schools respectively and was intended to ensure that every child sleeps in an Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) to safeguard the safety of school kids from mosquito bites. Ten pupils each from class two and six from the eleven beneficiary schools received the mosquito nets.
The rationale behind giving out the nets to these two classes, according to Madam Margaret Aku Vormawor, Municipal Director of the Ghana Education Service was that the mosquito nets were usually shared for kids while in class two and since the insecticide in the nets lasts up to three years, it is assumed that students in class 6 should be the other after first receiving the nets while in class two.
Present at the event were notable personalities including the deputy minister of Heath, Dr. Victor Bampoe, Mr. Kwame Ankobea, USAID representative and Malaria Programme Management Specialist, Paramount chief of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area, Nene Sackitey II as well as Queen mother of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area and the Municipal Chief Director of the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality, hon. Daniel Akolatse.
The event which was preceded with a march through the principal streets of the Lower Manya Krobo municipality saw pupils wield placards with messages on the use of Insecticide Treated Nets.
Schools that partook in the event included Mount Mary Demonstration, Coastlands Assemblies of God Preparatory, Odumase Anglican, Agormanya Methodist, Akro JHS and Primary, Odumase Presby among others.
The event is the third edition following earlier ones in 2003 and 2013. Madam Margaret Aku Vormawor, Municipal Director of GES called on individuals not to see mosquito as just an insect but a dangerous one, adding that malaria is a major cause of Absenteeism from schools. She noted that treated mosquito nets helped defeat Malaria and explained that child sick of malaria could lead to absenteeism which consequently affects educational standards.
Addressing the gathering, the Eastern Regional Director of the GES said children suffering from malaria stood the risk of suffering academically if not well treated. On the other hand, children suffering from malaria also lacked concentration and entreated teachers not to be harsh towards such children.
“We may not be able to eliminate all mosquitoes in Ghana but at least we should create a barrier between us and the mosquitoes,” madam Vormawor noted.
She however advised pupils who have been given the nets to use them and not to put it under their beds.
She therefore advised students to acquire the habit of sleeping in their well-treated insecticide mosquito net.