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Health News of Monday, 14 February 2011

Source: GNA

Stakeholders introduce new mechanism for Malaria treatment in Ghana

Accra, Feb. 14, GNA - The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) an= d the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have jointly introduced an Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (AMFm) in the country to enhance treatment o= f Malaria.

The AMFm is an innovative financing mechanism designed by the Global Fund to increase access of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) which include Artesunate Amodaiquine (AA) and Artemeter Lumefantrine (AL) t= o every part of the country.

A statement issued in Accra on Monday by Mrs Rebecca Ackwonu, Public Relations Officer of GHS, said ACTs were highly subsidised with packages branded with a special AMFm logo of a green leaf with the words 93ACTm" underneath to signify that the medicines were of high quality.

It said ACTs would be available for distribution through first line buyers in the public, private and non-for-profit outlets for medicines. The statement explained that the new programme would ensure that peopl= e suffering from malaria had access to ACTs at affordable prices, comparable to other less effective medications such as monotherapies.

"The goal of AMFm is to eventually drive these ineffective medicatio= ns out of the market by making high quality ACTs affordable," it added. The statement said Ghana was among eight pilot countries in Africa tha= t had introduced AMFm, the others being Tanzania, Niger, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Kenya and Uganda.

It said the introduction of AMFm in Ghana was a historic show of progress in her effort to combat malaria.

The statement said though treatment with ACTs for uncomplicated malari= a had been the policy of the NMCP since 2005, due to high cost of the medication and its lack of availability, the use of other less effective medicines continued to persist. It said the first phase of the pilot which had been on-going since Jul= y 2010, would be implemented over 24 months.

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