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15.12.2005 Regional News

NMCP describes new malaria drug as safe

By GNA
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Kumasi, Dec. 15, GNA - Mr Kwame Gakpey of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), has described as untrue, speculations by a section of the media and society that the newly developed Artesunate-Amodiaquine malaria drug had greater side-effects and for that matter, was a killer drug. He made it crystal clear that the Food and Drugs Board, which is a renowned institution mandated to analyse the quality and efficacy of the drug, have not found any fault with the drug and would continue to conduct more such analysis.

Mr Gakpey was speaking on the topic, "The Epidemiology and Rationale for the New Malaria Drug Policy", at a one-day workshop organized for Journalists in Kumasi on Wednesday. 20 Journalists attended the workshop, which was organized by the Ghana Sustainable Change Project (GSCP) in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and sponsored by USAID, from the northern sector of the country. Mr Gakpey advised those championing the crusade against the new malaria drug to desist from their acts, since it only turned to undermine the desired quality health for the people of Ghana. "The media must just not advertise the drug, but should also educate the people on the procedure to be followed in administering the drug", he added.

Miss Yaa Oforiwah Acquah, of the Media Consortium, expressed worry that even though health was a very crucial ingredient to development of all facets of life, the media regrettably allocate very little air time and space to such issues. Miss Oforiwah-Acquah, who is also The National Treasurer of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said time had now come for the media to change from their old ways and start giving prominence to the publication of accurate and factual health issues.

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