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05.06.2004 Regional News

Waterlogged drain brews mosquitoes at St Mary's Secondary School

By GNA

Accra, June 5, GNA- A drain that passes through the Saint Mary's Secondary School, at Korle Gonno to join the Korle Lagoon in Accra has become a fertile breeding ground of mosquitoes and is causing widespread malaria among students of the school.

At least, 10 out of the 720 students of the school are diagnosed of having malaria at the nearby Korle Bu Polyclinic every week, and the situation is likely to worsen with recent downpour.

Ms Doris Bramson, Headmistress of the school said it was therefore mandatory for students in the school to use mosquito treated nets. Ms Bramson was speaking with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview after Friends of the Earth; an environmental non-governmental organization had launched a Girls' Environmental Education Project at the school.

An Internet caf=E9 was also inaugurated at the school. Ms Bramson asked students to be conscious of, and not to avoid early symptoms of malaria.

They should take the full courses of anti-malaria drugs when they are put on prescription.

They should also eat balanced diets to reduce their vulnerability to the disease, adding the food provided by the school canteen was nutritious.

Early symptoms of malaria include headache, and feverishness, body aches, bitterness in the mouth, and loss of appetite, constipation or running stomach, and urine with yellowish coloration.

Ms Bramson said the school would like parents to ensure that their wards took anti-malaria drugs regularly and that they should not to wait for the disease to be fully blown before they took drugs. Ms Bramson said the School had so far been negotiating with Department of Hydro for the diversion of the drain.

She reiterated that the diversion must be expedited to reduce the prevalence of the disease that negatively impact on academic work. On the academic performance of the school, which placed first in the Greater Accra Region, on the performance table of last year's Senior Secondary School (SSS) Certificate Examination, Ms Bramson said the school would perform better this year.

She called for discipline, diligence, hard-work, and constant reminders of the students on the reason for which they were in the School. 5 June 04

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