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26.11.2005 Regional News

Queen mother calls for punishment for filth creation

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Akropong-Akuapem,(E/R), Nov 25, GNA - Nana Asiedua Antwi Boasiako, Queen Mother of Pram Kesse in the Akuapem North District, has called for the re-introduction of the imposition of fines for filth creation. She said it had become obvious that although a lot of education was being done on the need to keep the environment clean, such education was not being taken seriously enough.

Nana Boasiako said this at the launch of an anti-malaria campaign at Akropong-Akuapem in the Akuapem North District.

The programme was organized by the Micro Enterprises Development (MED) Fund, a Non Governmental Organization, in collaboration with the Ghana Health Services and the National Malaria Control Program with funding from Global fund, an international organisation.

She said although most people were aware that the larva of mosquitoes dwelt in filth and stagnant water, they did not ensure cleanliness within their respective places of abode.

Nana Boasiako said if prosecution and fines were made to serve as checks on filth within neighbourhoods, there would be an immediate transformation with most places noted for filth becoming very clean.

Dr. Sophia Winful, the District Director of Health Services, said it was quite alarming that in Ghana, malaria often kept people away from work and school.

She noted that in many families, a member at every point in time was ill with malaria.

Dr Winful said toddlers, pregnant women and people who had just arrived in the country from places where there was no malaria, were most vulnerable to the disease.

The District Director said this was because adults who had grown up in malaria endemic areas had developed some level of immunity against the disease, adding that this, by no means should not be taken for granted. She said simple preventive measures such as keeping the environment clean and sleeping in treated mosquito nets were much less expensive than treating the disease.

Touching on the new anti-malaria drug, Artesunate Amodiaquine, Dr Winful said though very potent, people had to ensure that they took it under professional supervision.

Dr Winful urged people not to delay in reporting cases of malaria to the hospital, adding that preventive measures such as sleeping in treated mosquito nets and keeping surroundings clean and void of stagnant water were also indispensable.

Mr. George Okyere, a resource person for the program, said it was unfortunate that although it could be cured, malaria was killing more people than HIV/AIDS.

He said people had to do away with the idea that they could always get away with the disease because they had "gotten used to it", adding that many did not get to be that fortunate. Mr Okyere urged the people to endeavour to sleep in treated mosquito nets, adding that it was not true that the nets trapped heat and made those who slept in them uncomfortable.

Mr. Daniel Sampong, the District Coordinating Director said there was the need for the communal spirit to be rekindled in people. He said this would make it possible for clean- ups to be organized to keep the environment clean.

Controlling malaria mainly depends on our attitude, he said. A drama was held to demonstrate the dangers of malaria as well as how to prevent the disease.

About 1,000 treated mosquito nets were made available to the people at reduced prices as part of the program.

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