Health News of Monday, 25 August 2014

Source: GNA

Early diagnosis, treatment key to malaria prevention

Mr Lateef Agyei-Wiredu, Inspecting Pharmacist of the Pharmacy Council in Upper West Region, has observed that early diagnosis and treatment of malaria is a key intervention measure to reduce the prevalence of the disease.

He explained that deprived communities that do not have access to microscopic diagnosis services could use the Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) to diagnose malaria cases, which provide ready results.

Mr Agyei-Wiredu said this at a day’s workshop organised by the Pharmacy Council and USAID for Over the Counter Medicine Sellers (OCMS) and their Assistants in Yendi at the weekend.

The workshop, which brought together OCMS from the Yendi Municipality, Mion, Zabzugu, Tatale/Sangule, Saboba and Chereponi districts sought to build the capacity of participants on malaria prevention, early detection, appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and referral cases to health facilities.

Mr Lateef noted that malaria is not a respecter of persons and that, children under five years as well as pregnant women are at high risk.

He advised pregnant women to regularly attend antenatal care and should take the malaria prevention drugs they receive at the health centres to protect them from the disease.

“Sometimes the laboratory tests may be negative but the malaria parasites might be hiding in the placenta interfering with oxygen and nutrient supply to unborn babies, which can lead to anaemia in new borns,” he said.

He urged pregnant women to use insecticide treated nets to help reduce the malaria prevalence rate and deaths.

Mr Hayford Nkansah, a representative of the USAID-Shops Project advised the OCMS to provide the appropriate information to clients on family planning to enable them space their births by using the necessary contraceptives.

Mr Nkansah said the use of male and female condoms would help clients to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.