March 1, 2023

As part of its oversight duty in checking for value for money in the area of malaria control, the select committee on Health has embarked on its oversight tour to the Berekum East constituency in the Berekum Municipal Assembly.
Chairman of the Committee Dr. Nana Ayew Afriye noted that the oversight was to check how funds, the tax payers money was being applied in the aspect of malaria control.

According to him in the next two or three weeks they have a budget to approve for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), and in it includes malaria control which goes to a private company which is good.

In a media briefing after touring some sites where the malaria control project is being embarked on in the Berekum Municipal Assembly, Dr. Ayew lauded the idea of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the malaria control project in which Zoomlion is spraying stagnant waters that breed mosquitoes in one hundred and five districts (105) out of the two hundred and sixty (261) districts in Ghana.

“We have mapped out regions and communities in the districts, so we needed to be sure the money that was given them, where it went and what they are doing. So that when they come back to us for some resources we have a reason to approve or disapprove of their request”.

As to the level of satisfaction of the project, he noted that the malaria focal person in Berekum Municipality says in three years after the collaboration with the malaria control programme cases of malaria in the Municipality was twenty two thousand last three years, last two years was nineteen thousand reported cases, and for last year it was sixteen thousand.

So, in his estimation there is gradual drop in the reported cases of malaria and the aspect of value for money is the overall component for the point of going to spray; and the number of people they are employing and the number of times they are supposed to do the spraying.

That is the period before raining season and through raining season to the end, “so we need go and put pen on paper, we need to have their schedule, we asked of it and they were not able to give us, they said they have it, I could not see it”.

Again, he pointed out that they are in Berekum to do their work; it may appear that they may be having results but scientifically they need to have a lot of things on paper when they look at it as a metrics, they can check list it; but that is not there.

So they are there, either to improve it, to stop it or to ascertain whether the communities have value for money in this. He stated that the team would have a board room discussion after the visit to know when is the best time for them to be doing the spraying.

According to the malaria control program they are supposed to be spraying from March through to October but as it is on the ground they spray the third or the fourth week of the month from June to October annually.

The spraying last for four weeks and it means if they go on the field today it would take another four weeks before they come in, in between they say they do desilting which is laudable, but noted that the output may be okay but the measure of the output to the needs of the objective is what they are looking for as representatives of the people.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/