Voices for Malaria-Free Future Ghana, a malaria advocate group, yesterday urged politicians, especially presidential candidates, to make malaria a campaign issue in the 2008 general elections.
Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country, accounting for over 45 per cent of all out patient clinic attendance cases in health institutions.
Voices said in a statement issued in Accra last Friday that Ghana is among three other African countries namely Senegal, Nigeria and Benin, which are making progress in the control phase of the disease.
It however called on government and stakeholders to develop a sense of urgency and ambition to minimise it. 'Ghana has so far been making steady progress in the fight against malaria. As a nation we must strive to one day achieve eradication,' it added.
It stressed that reversing the incidence of malaria is not only a specific Millennium Development Goal, but is also essential to improve maternal and child health.
It also called on stakeholders to gain greater understanding of the strategies for addressing the infectious disease in terms of control and elimination as applied in the fight against malaria.
The group is a collaborative initiative of the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Communication Programmes, the National Malaria Control Programme and the Ghana Health Service.