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Malaria and cases of skin abrasions are on the rise in several districts of the Eastern Region as rare insects invade farms.

Richmond Kofi Amponsah, the Dean of Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s) in Ghana and also the Achiase DCE, says approximately 300 cases with symptoms like Malaria have been recorded across the affected districts.

“We’ve recorded over 300 cases in weeks, with 30 cases reported this Sunday alone, showing malaria symptoms. It’s crucial that the Ghana Health Service acts urgently to prevent any loss of life,” he said.

Richmond Kofi Amponsah

Farmers and residents are increasingly anxious and frustrated by the recent invasion of their farms by these mosquito-like insects for the past week. Most victims are cocoa farmers who endure constant bites while working in their fields.

The Ghana Health Service Public Health Directorate has confirmed the rise in cases, but is yet to determine the epidemiology of these insects.

Several districts including Akyemmansa, Achiase, Birem South, and Ofoase Ayerebi have reported increased incidences of malaria and skin abrasions over the past week, as confirmed by Regional Public Health Director Dr. John Ekow Otoo.

Dr. John Ekow Otoo

“We’ve observed a surge in malaria and other skin abrasions in the affected communities. But we are yet to determine the epidemiology of the insect. A combined team from the Ghana Health Service, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Noguchi Memorial Research Institute, and others are on-site to collect insect samples for epidemiological analysis and necessary urgent action,” he assured.

The Achiase DCE Richmond Kofi Amponsah Agyabeng, described the situation as overwhelming and called for urgent intervention.

“I’ve personally suffered from malaria symptoms. Upon being bitten by these insects, victims experience headaches, stomachaches, loss of appetite, and weakness,” he explained.

Meanwhile, a multisectoral team comprising the Ghana Health Service, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and allied agencies are in the affected communities collecting samples to determine the insects’ epidemiology and entomology for appropriate response actions.

Malaria is caused by plasmodium species from an infected female anopheles mosquito bite.

The Ghana Health service research indicates that out of the five plasmodium species that cause malaria across the world, only three have been detected in Ghana.

The National Malaria Elimination Programme is hoping to eliminate Malaria in Ghana through its 2024 -2028 Zero Malaria Agenda by reducing Malaria morbidity and mortality through planned efforts.

By Yvonne Neequaye