U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan joined Ghanaian government and military officials to inaugurate the Joint Operational Vector-borne Disease Entomology Laboratory at 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
Funded by the U.S. government through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Africa Malaria Task Force (AMTF), the laboratory will establish a combined entomology research and control program, the first of its kind in Ghana.
Along with Ambassador Sullivan, representatives of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Ghana Police Service (GPS), National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), and Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research also participated in the event.
The outdooring of the Joint Operational Vector-borne Disease Entomology Laboratory is the result of strong U.S.-Ghana military cooperation. In partnership with the GAF, GPS, NMCP, and Noguchi Institute, the laboratory will support the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Health malaria control programs with mosquito surveillance, directing insecticide applications, insecticides resistance monitoring, and mapping of potential disease-causing mosquitoes.
The lab will also be a regional entomology hub in West Africa for other AMTF partners to benefit from in the future.
During her remarks, Ambassador Sullivan highlighted the strong bilateral military cooperation between the United States and Ghana that underpinned the establishment of the new laboratory and noted: “It is through programs such as AMTF that the U.S. government has been able to assist in reducing the number of malaria deaths in Ghana and around the globe. We look forward to seeing the continued progress of our joint efforts through this new laboratory. Together, we will end this mosquito-borne disease within this generation.”
Since 2011, the aim of the U.S. AFRICOM Africa Military Taskforce is to advance the global fight against malaria through capacity-building programs and multi-country military collaboration in Africa.
In Ghana, the AMTF has provided comprehensive skills in malaria microscopy and medical entomology and fostered collaboration between the GAF and the National Malaria Control Program.