Malaria Kills 4000
4/27/2012 1:30:23 PM -
CLOSE TO 4000 Ghanaians lost their lives in 2011 through malaria, a report by the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) of the Ghana Health Service has revealed.
According to the report, Ghana has made significant strides in the control of malaria since the total death rate from the disease has dropped in the last five years from over 40,000 deaths per annum to almost 4000 last year.
Aba Baffoe-Wilmot, Medical Entomologist at the NMCP stated this Tuesday in Sunyani during a press briefing as part of activities marking 2012 World Malaria Day which was observed in the regional capital on Wednesday.
She disclosed that 1,500 children under-five years and 60 pregnant women die every year from malaria in Ghana.
Mrs. Baffoe-Wilmot stated that about half of the world's population is at risk of getting malaria particularly those in lower income countries as the disease kills about 600,000 people across the world every year.
'Malaria affects economic growth and development costing families, businesses and nations dearly. It has a negative impact on the GDP,' she added.
She called for support and commitment towards the malaria control programme from all stakeholders such as government, donors, the media and corporate organizations to help achieve the nation's ultimate goal of reducing it by 75% by 2015.
Chief Health Educator for the Brong Ahafo region, W.S Sopiimeh, noted that malaria continues to be the largest contributor to the disease burden in Ghana. He disclosed that malaria constituted 39% of all out patient attendance in the Brong Ahafo region in 2011.
Mr. Sopiimeh consequently called for an inter-sectoral approach towards the fight against malaria.
'This is why the Ghana Health Service has identified media practitioners as an important strategic ally in the fight against malaria. We are aware that media practitioners are the eyes and ears of society, indeed you're the gate keepers,' he indicated.
He mentioned that the NMCP has scaled-up a number of interventions, including the use of rapid diagnostic kits at the lower level, use of insecticide treated bed nets, larviciding and environmental management, subsidizing anti-malaria drugs, distribution of anti-malaria drugs to pregnant women and accelerated public education on the prevention of malaria.
NMCP official, James Frimpong, in a presentation said the malaria control programme is being challenged by uncertainty of continuous donor support, inadequate internal funding, public disregard for proper environmental management and unacceptable care-seeking behaviour among others.
Mr. Frimpong appealed for more resources to be sunk into the programme to be able to sustain gains, save lives and reduce the disease prevalence by 75 per cent in the next three years.
FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani