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11.12.2005 Health

Stakeholders in Malaria Eradication should be relentless -Expert

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Accra, Dec 11, GNA - Mr Joseph Addo-Yobo, Country Manager of NetMark, a United States Agency For International Development (USAID) Regional Malaria Program, has urged all stake holders in the eradication of malaria to relentlessly play their roles. He said the main aim of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Program was partnership, capacity development and the strengthening of health systems.

Mr Addo-Yobo was speaking at a programme that was held to appoint Vicdoris Pharmaceuticals, a wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical products, as a sub-distributor of PermaNet, a type of insecticide treated net on Sunday in Accra. The appointment in effect, puts Vicdorius Pharmaceuticals in direct partnership with Netco Rockville Limited, distributors of PermaNet. Mr Addo-Yobo observed that the Ministry of Health alone could not deal with malaria eradication, adding that when organisations in both the private and public sectors came together, they would complement each other and make the RBM a success through their combined strengths. He said subsidies were being made available to people who had been identified as needy to enable them buy the nets, adding that efforts were also being made to identify those who were too poor to afford nets in order to supply them with free nets.

Mr Kwame Gakpey, a representative of the National Malaria Control Program, said preventing malaria through the use of Insecticide Treated Nets was one of the most cost effective means of dealing with the disease. He said the program was thus pursuing and advocating the formation of partnerships amongst various stakeholders to address the issue.

Mr Gakpey said contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes did not only breed in filth and dirty water. He said they also could breed in clean water within surroundings that one could least suspect. The National Malaria Control Representative said it was therefore not enough to only concentrate on the need to keep our surroundings clean to prevent mosquitoes, adding that one very efficient means was also the use of insecticide treated nets.

"We are not only urging people to use insecticide treated nets but other material such as curtains which could serve as the first point of contact for mosquitoes," he said. Stressing on the need for preventing malaria, Mr Gakpey said in the year 2004, 2000 pregnant women as well as 16,000 children died of malaria. He said these statistics were from the public health sector alone. He said the new malaria drug had to be taken under instruction from a qualified medical personnel because taking it without the due instructions could lead to uncomfortable side effects.

Dr Sampson Amoafo, Managing Director of Netco Rockville Limited, said as a company with 14,000 retail points, Vicdoris Pharmaceuticals was well equipped to make great strides in the fight against malaria, as a distributor of PermaNet. The program was a collaboration by Netco Rockville Limited and NetMark.