Heads of public senior high and technical schools in the Central Region have lauded the Ghana Education Service and Zoomlion Ghana Limited for the massive fumigation and disinfection of their schools against bed bugs and the deadly coronavirus.
The nationwide exercise, which is a partnership between the GES and Zoomlion, made its stop in the Central Region last Saturday to fumigate and disinfect all the selected schools within the next 10 days.
As at Tuesday, at least 30 schools had benefited from the fumigation exercise.
The heads of the schools expressed joy as the spraying gangs from Zoomlion arrived at their respective schools for the bed bugs fumigation exercise which will also ward of other dangerous insects.
They revealed bed bug infestation in their respective schools have become a major headache for students and school authorities for years.
In some schools, authorities said bed bugs have swamped their dormitories and even some classrooms making it difficult for students to sleep at night and concentrate on their studies, a situation they described as worrying.
Although most of them, particularly the less endowed schools said they occasionally fumigate against bed bugs, it has not been often due to its financial strain on them, a situation they said makes the elimination of bed bugs difficult.
For them, the fumigation and disinfestation of their schools at a time that students are off campus due to the covid-19 outbreak was timely as it will afford the fumigants the room to thoroughly cover all areas.
The heads expressed gratitude to the government and Zoomlion for the exercise which they said will reduce the financial stress on them as monies they would have used for such fumigation exercise could now be channeled into other useful ventures.
“We spend so much on fumigation all the time so this will be a big relief for the school,” Assistant headmistress in charge of domestic at the Mfantseman Girls School, Mrs Eunice Yeboah told journalists when a team from Zoomlion fumigated the school on Monday.
All the six dormitories of the school housing some 3,500 students and mattresses as well as trunks for students were fumigated against bed bugs while the classrooms, administration block, assembly hall, dining hall, science laboratory and libraries were disinfected against covid-19.
Headmaster for Kwegyir Aggrey Technical School at Anomabo, Mohammed Kweku Assan said they were previously spending between 1,000 and 2,000 cedis to fumigate their overcrowded dormitories for students.
He thanked Zoomlion and the GES for taking off the responsibility of bed bugs fumigation from them.
“Bed bugs have been a big problem for the school and therefore this gesture by the government and Zoomlion is a welcoming one,” headmaster for Methodist SHS at Saltpond, Rev. Kobina Aidoo said.
At the Ekumfi T.T. Ahmadiyya SHS, the headmaster, Mohammed Abdulai Quantson said “the students have been suffering from bed bugs” indicating that “bed bugs infestation is a big challenge for the school”.
Assistant headmaster in charge of Administration at the Winneba SHS, Mr Daniel Nunoo “bed bugs have been a major concern at the dormitories and even the libraries” noting the students have been complaining of not being able to sleep at night, a situation that affect their studies as they are unable to concentrate in classroom due to restlessness.
With the fumigation exercise, he was very hopeful the issue of bed bugs and cockroaches will be eliminated from the school.
Central Region Manager for Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Ernest Osei, said the feedback from the schools clearly shows the fumigation and disinfection has so far been very successful.
“Bedbugs have been a major challenge for most of the schools,” he observed and said Zoomlion will recommend to government to regularly fumigate against the insect “at least once every six months so that within two or three years we will curtail the disease in the secondary schools”.
He identified personal hygiene as the major cause of bed bugs in the schools, noting that “if there is no proper personal hygiene in most dormitories that causes some of these things”.
He expressed fears there could be reinfection of the bed bugs if proper measures are not put in place by the schools.
“What we are doing at the moment, we should be very mindful that there shouldn’t be re-infestation because it is likely the things the students took back to their homes, when they bring those things back, definitely there will be re-infestation,” he stated.
He has thus advised against a situation where mattresses taken home are allowed back into the dormitories.
“For me, I think with this exercise students who took their mattresses out shouldn’t be allowed…new mattresses should be given to them so that the reinfestation I am talking about wouldn’t occur,” he advised.