The 2011 World Malaria Report has estimated that there were 216 million episodes of malaria in 2010, of which approximately 81 per cent was in Africa. About 655,000 malaria deaths occurred in the African region. This was disclosed by the Dean of the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof Fred Binka, at a malaria control programme, held in Accra.
The programme was organized by Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health anchored on the theme, “Partnership for Malaria Elimination, Winning the African Cup of Nations-AFCON 2012.
Prof Binka, noted that Ghana has the best Anti-malaria control programme yet it is still not accessible to many people who need it. He observed that the high cost of malarial drugs and the use of counterfeit drugs still remains a major threat to the Malaria Control Programme. This, he lamented, is beyond the control of the Ministry of Health alone and therefore called on other agencies to join the fight against Malaria. Prof Binka noted that four major interventions like effective malaria interventions, substantial increase in funding, strong and effective partnerships and focused research have enabled the organization make much progress globally.
He said, countries like Azerbaijan, Kyrgystan, Talikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan have almost eradicated malaria and United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Morocco have been certified free of malaria in 2010.
“This trend has no doubt energized the malaria community to take the fight on malaria and go for malaria elimination and eradication” he added. The Acting Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Gloria Quansah Asare, said that winning the African Cup of nations by Ghana Black Stars is a special target to achieve but winning the war against malaria could be more special.
She stressed that malaria continues to be the leading cause of illness and death in the country, adding that, high maternal mortality and childhood mortality can be easily attributed to Malaria.
She therefore called on all stakeholders involved in the fight against Malaria to reinforce their commitment since, “the more effort we put in the development and presentation of our health messages to our audience, the more successful we would be in making such messages acceptable and easily adoptable to our clients” she stated. The programme was climaxed with the launch of advocacy materials on the fight against malaria. These included a newsletter, 13 winning moves, the Malaria safe Book and TV Spots.
Source: ISD (Solace Amankwa & Isaac Parbey)
Date Updated: Monday, 23 January 2012 16:19