As the national malaria control program continues, Rotarians against malaria and the Ministry of health have on Thursday availed two fogging machines to fight mosquitoes in the Gambia. The machines presented in a ceremony graced by the first lady of the Republic of The Gambia are outdoor insecticide spraying machines.
These spraying machines were once available in the country but not anymore, prompting the ministry of health to seek help from the Rotarians and the Bill Gates foundation to bring them back.
In 2019, the Rotarians, with the first lady of the Gambia, began a campaign to raise awareness on malaria prevention. From May to June of 2019, the Rotarians participated in the national Bed net distribution campaign. They also sponsored national radio programs to promote insecticide mosquito bed nets through the national bed nets campaign. They also encouraged the public to adopt positive malaria prevention mindsets.
Dr. Emma Bruce – chairperson, Rotary District 9101 subcommittee on malaria, said the fogging machines were needed since 2019, but due to covid-19, the machines were delayed. She said the outdoor insecticide spraying was stopped because the Malaria Global Fund has reduced most of its donations. “About 20500 dollars were used to purchase the two machines,” said Emma.
The ministry of health assured that it would provide insecticide for the machines. However, the chairperson of the Rotary district also urged the private sector and other stakeholders to help ensure that work will commence before November to December.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmadou Samateh, said the two fogging machines are evidence of his ministry’s fruitful partnership with Rotary over the years. He thanked all the partners and the Rotarians against malaria global for providing valuable pieces of equipment and always remain grateful. “With these fogging machines, our ministry will now embark on outdoor spraying and other insecticides to eliminate these diseases,” said the minister.
The machines can also spray item materials into the air to remove bad odors and to disinfect purposes. As a result, the rate of malaria has declined in The Gambia country from 4.40% to 0.2% in 2014 and from 0.2 to 0.1% in 2017.