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02.02.2007 General News

Malaria strategic document to be revised - Official

By : GNA
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The Malaria Strategic Document will be revised and updated this year to incorporate emerging issues such as new policy and indoor residual spraying, a senior official of the Malaria Control Programme has said.

Dr Constance Bart-Plange, Programme Manager for the Malaria Control Programme of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the revision would also include second hand-line and expanded treatment options for malaria in pregnancy and for President George Bush's Malaria Initiative.

Speaking at first GHS media briefing in Accra Dr Bart-Plange noted that the new Malaria Policy, which suffered severe set backs, had put some fear into patients preventing them from taking the combined dose of Artesunate Amodiaquine as prescribed.

She said diversion of subsidised insecticide treated nets from the health sector to the private sector and untimely procurement and delivery of items to ensure timely implementation of planned activities also slowed down activities in the malaria control.

Dr Bart-Plange explained that studies conducted by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research had shown that the indoor residual spraying using DDT did not work in the southern part of the country and that Delmethrine would be appropriate.

"Results showed that there was some resistance to DDT but in certain areas in the Middle and Northern Ghana it worked."

Programme Managers for Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Expanded Programme on Immunisation took turns to brief the media on their activities and called for public and Government support in ensuring quality health care.

Professor John Gyarpong, Head of the Health Research Unit of GHS, spoke on the neglected diseases like onchocerciasis, popularly known as river blindness, and Lymphatic Filariasis, which is Elephantiasis, were some of the diseases which attacked people but were not talked about.

He said strategies had been put in place to scale up interventions and called for more human resource, infrastructure and logistics as well as funding from the Government to run programmes.

Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director-General of GHS, noted that the brain drain in the health sector had put some stress on the few health workers available and called for more training of nurses and doctors to help to reduce the current workload.

He noted that despite working under the hard conditions, GHS last year won three of the four President's Special Excellence awards "and that shows how hard we have been working to offer better and quality health care".

Lepuwura Alhaji Mohammed N. Jawula, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, commended the various programme managers for their good work in ensuring quality health and eliminating certain diseases from the country.

He said the Ministry would ensure that they worked under better conditions and provided all the needed facilities to work with.

Source: GNA

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