The Western Region recorded a decrease in malaria cases of children under five years from 3.5 percent in 2004 to 2.7 percent in 2006.
Briefing the press on the burden of malaria in the region last Wednesday in Takoradi, Dr. Linda Vanotoo, Deputy Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) disclosed that the latest figures were yet to be processed.
The briefing was also aimed at sensitizing the media on malaria control programmes in the region and the role of the press in disseminating the relevant information to the public.
She noted that the Bibiani-Ahwianso-Bekwai, Nzema East and Wassa West Districts recorded high incidence of malaria last year and attributed it partly to the activities of surface mining and illegal small scale mining popularly called “galamsey”.
She explained that the miners created crevices and excavations which filled with water after the rains and served as breeding grounds for mosquitoes which spread the disease.
Dr. Vanotoo indicated that the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Sekondi continued to record high malaria-related deaths of children under five years since it is a referral centre.
According to her, the GHS in the region had been training health personnel in the management of both simple and complicated cases as well as the proper administration of Artesunate Amodiaquine to treat malaria cases.
“There had not been any adverse effects on patients who took the drug as is being perceived by a section of the public.
The drug should be taken after eating and the GHS would ensure its continuous supply to malaria patients.” Dr. Vanotoo said.
She also mentioned that her outfit would continue to ensure the distribution of subsidized Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) to children under five years and pregnant women.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi