The tsetse flies live only in rural areas. They live in woodland thickets of the savanna and dense vegetation along streams. Visitors to cities and other urban areas are usually not at risk. The disease is found mainly in tropical Africa…
Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
Could the elimination of trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in Ghana have been due to galamsey activities rather than public health interventions?
Asks Dr. Kofi Effah
I can’t help asking myself if the galamsey (illegal mining activities) with pollution of rivers contributed to the elimination of trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) rather than public health interventions.
Before you descend on me, let me explain.
In 1993, I had completed sixth form in Presec, Legon, and finished one year national service teaching at Amenfiman Secondary School in Wassa Akropong, Western Region.
I was getting ready to start medical school. My late father was then the District Director of Education in Mpohor Wassa East, capital Daboase, in the Western Region.
Trust my father. He wouldn’t allow me to stay at home ‘doing nothing’ so he took me with him when he was going to work in Daboase to teach in the secondary school there for free!
Yes, I was bitten by tsetse flies there! Many of them. I feared I would get sleeping sickness…
The difference between then and now is that there was no galamsey (illegal mining) there at that time. So the Pra River was clean and clear! Now with illegal mining and the Pra River like mud, is it possible the elimination is due to the death of the tsetse flies because they lost their natural habitat due to the galamsey activities rather than public health interventions?
Please don’t call me controversial. Give me the opportunity to think and ask questions as a scientist.
We might have lost other organisms…
And we ourselves are on our way to extinction if we continue.