Statistics from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) show that 40 percent of Out Patient Department cases from various health facilities in Ghana are Malaria-related.
Disclosing this at the commemoration of the World Malaria Day in Ashaiman; Ghana, the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie, said despite several preventive measures instituted, Malaria remains the dominant killer disease among children.
[contextly_sidebar id=”VHfCg2t0uUGr7LyxmYIwoj1thWvKJ12c”]Malaria is currently one of the top three killer diseases in Ghana, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The World Health Organization is targeting to reduce the incidence of malaria cases and related deaths by at least, 90% globally by 2030.
A 2017 WHO World Malaria Report showed that progress in the fight against Malaria stalled between 2014 and 2016, reversing gains made.
Around the world, in every two minutes, a child dies from this preventable disease, the majority of which deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
In Ghana, the strategic plan for malaria control aims to reduce deaths by at least 75% by 2020.
And some significant strides have been made. Malaria deaths have been halved, and over 70% of the population has access to mosquito nets.
However, Ghanaians in an opinion survey in the Malaria Futures of Africa report, said they were less optimistic about the likelihood of achieving the WHO 2030 target.
Mark Chataway, a study coordinator at Baird’s CMC, who conducted the research, noted that subjects in the study cited a lack of funds, complacency and the malaria parasite’s resistance to treatment and insecticides as fundamental stumbling blocks.
“There isn’t enough money. Donor money is decreasing, and national money isn’t increasing fast enough to make up for it. The second reason is about complacency. We see malaria deaths drop across Africa by about 60% and because of that, people might be a bit less careful about the prevention methods. It’s about the parasite and the mosquito becoming resistant to the treatment and the insecticide that have brought about the remarkable changes so far.”
The challenges are more and real. Funding for malaria control activities has dwindled with global fund requiring some 20% counterpart financing from donor countries before releasing approved grants. But these are surmountable with the right attitude.
According to Sylvester Segbaya, the Chief of Party for VectorWorks Ghana, “people need to recognize their role in preventing malaria. I think we have gotten a bit complacent regarding our response to the disease. Many people say well this is just malaria, but malaria kills and malaria is causing us a lot of money,” he stated.
The theme for this year’s world malaria day ‘Ready To Beat Malaria’, underscores the collective energy and commitment of the global community in uniting around a common goal of a world free of malaria.
The full Malaria Futures for Africa report can be viewed here
By: Eugenia Tenkorang/citinewsroom.com/Ghana