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17.11.2005 Health

We must not lose fight against malaria-Dr Mustapha

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Accra, Nov.17, GNA-Alhaji Major (rtd) Dr Ahmed Mustapha, Member for Ayawaso East, on Thursday warned that if the period within which the nation is switching to a new anti-malaria drug is not managed well, the fight against the disease would be lost.

"Within this transitional period, we should get in place adequate measures to keep the population from mosquito bite. What I see in the budget proposals is not adequate."

The member was contributing to the debate on the 2006 budget proposals in Parliament.

He said the 700,000 bed nets imported in 2005 were not adequate and asked if pregnant women and children admitted in hospitals are well protected since most of these people go home with the malaria parasite. The member said the new drug therapy was expensive as compared to the old chloroquine drug.

On HIV/AIDS, he asked government to make the supply of anti retroviral drugs constant since many persons living with the virus had to live with shortages.

He said Ghana had chalked successes by reducing its rate of infection hence every effort should be made to achieve better results. The member asked why 2005 and the 2006 budget proposals were silent on oral health delivery.

"Perhaps, the small office given to the Chief Dentist and his secretary can explain how much value we place on oral health." he said. He described the budget as a document full of beautiful words and statistics but "it can only become good news when the intentions in it have been realised."