22.01.2008 General News

Ghana Loses $762 Million Annually In Malaria Control

By Daily Graphic
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About $762 million is lost in controlling malaria in the country yearlyThe loss includes labour loss, cost of transportation to facilities, cost to families and cost in treating patients.According to the Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (retd), if the cost of preventable and avoidable diseases continued to increase, it might be necessary to sell the country to pay for the ill-health of its people.
Major Quashigah, who was addressing a meeting to review the new Regenerative Health and Nutrition Programme (RHNP) introduced to ensure good health by adopting healthy lifestyles, said, “It is important that the country work to ensure that limited resources are not wasted on preventable diseases.”
Health service providers, district chief executives and media practitioners attended the meeting in Mankessim in the Central Region.
The RHNP was adopted from Dimona, Israel, where a community of about 3,500 African Hebrews live without encountering any diseases as a result of the programme.
Major Quashigah stated that in the near future, all diseases would be costed to know their cost to the nation and the need to work to prevent them.
He noted that since 2006, the RHNP had been piloted in 10 districts in seven regions of Ghana in the form of week-long training of change agents and advocates.
The minister stated that more than 700 change agents and 5,000 advocates had so far received training in RHNP across the country, adding that he expected them to work hard to touch the people in the communities and families to adopt the programme.
He said it was unfortunate that eating junk food was associated with sophistication, adding that eating healthy foods, exercise and rest could do a lot of good to the body.
The Director of the programme, Dr Edward Addai, stated that RHNP had been found to be an important way of improving the lives of the people in any nation.
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to ensure that the programme was successful.  The Omanhen of the Mankessim Traditional Area, Nana Amanfo Adu VI, urged the people to ensure the proper handling of fruits and vegetables to avoid contracting diseases.
He also called on them to adopt personal hygiene and good environmental sanitation practices to ensure healthy living.
Story by Shirley Asiedu-Addo

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