Health News of Thursday, 7 June 2012

Source: GNA

Accra starts door-to-door distribution of ITN

Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister on Thursday warned that Ghana would not be able to reduce or eradicate malaria without the necessary awareness about the disease.

He said every effort should therefore be made to educate, assist and ensure that a large number of the people are educated about the disease, and also encouraged to sleep in insecticide treated nets (ITN).

Nii Afotey Agbo made this observation at the launch of the door-to-door distribution and hang-up campaign of ITN in the Region.

He said malaria kills approximately 781,000 people every year, mostly children, infant, and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa.

The disease cost an estimated $12 billion every year, as a result of lost through economic productivity, foreign direct investment, tourism and trade.

Ghana is working assiduously to eradicate malaria to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

To make this possible, government is committing the needed resource, energy, and hard work to achieve the desired objective, the Minister said.

He said stakeholders like Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service (GHS) and National Malaria Control Programme, have found it necessary to start with the mass ITN and hung-up campaign in the country with Greater Accra, being the last point of stop.

Nii Afotey Agbo noted that, being the number one killer in Ghana and other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the negative effects of malaria on human resource cannot be over-emphasized.

He observed that malaria is preventable and treatable with affordable solutions.

He expressed the need for the country to train more middle level health care workers, community health volunteers and traditional midwives in malaria care management.

Mrs Aba Baffoe-Wilmot, Medical Entomologist, National Malaria Control Programme said the campaign was meant to ensure that ITN coverage is 100 per cent.

Mr. Baffoe-Wilmot noted that underestimation of the programme, weak collaboration between Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC), District Assemblies (DA)and GHS, inadequate supervision, difficulty in identifying beneficiary household, rampant change of planned times and lack of coordination and supervision were some of the challenges encountered during the implementation of the exercise.

She therefore called on the RCC, GHS and the DA to corporate to ensure smooth implementation of the programme.**