Health News of Monday, 10 September 2012
Source: Ghanaian Times
Malaria accounts for 33 per cent of all deaths in children under five. Statistics from health facilities suggests that malaria continues to be the number one cause of ill-health, accounting for 38 per cent of all cases reported at Out Patients Department (OPD), and 36 per cent of all hospital admissions.
Dr. Keizah Malm, Deputy Programme Manager of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), disclosed this yesterday in Accra during the African Cup of Nations 2013 malaria campaign programme aimed at fighting the disease in Africa.
The event offered a platform for footballers and the vast soccer network to catalyze the energy required in eliminating malaria and savings lives.
It was organized by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and the John Hopkins University Center for Communication Programme Voices.
Addressing the participants, Dr. Keizah said “Malaria which is hyper-epidemic in all parts of Ghana has been a major health challenge.”
She said the GHS admitted 14 per cent of OPD attendance of pregnant women with the disease out of which nine per cent of maternal deaths occurred in 2008, noting “malaria continues to pose a threat to our lives.”
Dr. Keizah added that despite the vigorous effort by the NMCP and GHS, over the past six years, more education ought to be done to enable the NMCP achieve its goals.
In the area of prevention, she said NMCP would distribute 14. 8 million treated nets by the close of 2012 and that, so far, 10, 710, 5623 nets have been made available in nine regions through the nationwide Hang-up Campaign Programme.
NMCP she said had also implemented an indoor residual spraying exercise to eradicate the disease especially in deprived areas adding that the programme supported by the US government through its President's Malaria Initiative project had begun in 50 districts nationwide.
She said the NMCP, was implementing a measure to provide free Affordable Medicine facility (AMFm) to ensure that persons suffering from malaria have access to the drug without cost stating “The AMFm facility has benefited Ghanaians greatly.”
Dr. Keizah urged organizations and individual to contribute their bid to help educate the public through such platforms and expressed gratitude to the GFA towards its support to eradicate the disease, noting that malaria control was endless and needed much attention.
He assured NMCP, that the Black Stars would always be ambassadors in carrying the message to the general public and Africa as a whole.
“Even when the Black Stars played the Eagles of Mali at the Kumasi Sports Stadium in March 2010 in our final world cup qualifier at that time, the score board at the stadium carried malaria “message', he noted.