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21.10.2008 Health

Media, Scientists Join Fight Against Malaria

By GNA - newtimesonline.com

A malaria expert has called on the public to take up the challenge of stamping out malaria within the communities by using all the control tools available.

Dr Seth Owusu-Agyei, Director of Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC), said the use of insecticide treated nets, indoor spraying and anti-malaria drugs were some of the tools available, which should make it easier for everyone to get involved in reducing the malaria burden.

He was speaking at the inauguration of Ghana Chapter of African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), a group made up of African journalists and scientists working together to reduce malaria on the continent.

The occasion was also used to launch a magazine, “Eyes on Malaria” produced by the group as an advocacy tool.

Dr Owusu-Agyei said the media was central to packaging and tailoring important research findings and information needed to address public health issues.

He said KHRC was among several institutions across Africa researching into a malaria vaccine expected for use along with other intervention tools.

Dr Constance Bart-Plange, Manager of Malaria Control Programme, said a change in people's attitude was necessary to move intervention on malaria control forward.

She said creation of breeding grounds and stagnant waters through man-made activities served to spread mosquitoes and increase the incidence of malaria.

Dr Bernhard Ogutu, a Kenyan Researcher with Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance (MCTA), said production of “Eyes on Malaria Magazine” was a good way for the media to partner scientists in a global move towards the eradication of malaria.

 Mrs Charity Binka, Executive Secretary of AMMREN, said the network was set up to become a leader in the provision of information for the prevention and control of malaria.

She said the group was set up through sponsorship from MCTA, an African-led alliance funded with a Bill Gates Foundation grant to research into malaria related activities.

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