Malaria control programme faces challenge of getting people to sleep in nets

The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) has started distributing Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN), free of charge, to ensure a reduction in the mortality rate through malaria, but the Programme faces the challenge of getting people to sleep in the nets.

Dr. Mrs Constance Bart-Plange, Programme Manager, NMCP, said the project was aimed at supplying every two people with one net, since it had been proved that the ITN helped to reduce malaria.

“Our challenge, however, is getting people to sleep in the nets,” she said.

Dr Bart-Plange made this known at a malaria advocacy workshop for leaders of faith-based organizations.

She said: “As faith-based leaders, you wield an important role in your congregations and communities…your followers listen to you with rapt attention and follow your teachings. Talking to your congregation about malaria will make them pause to take the recommended action to fight the disease.”

Dr Bart-Plange said what was needed to prevent malaria was to get the public to adopt appropriate behaviours that would lead to a malaria-free Ghana.

She stressed the need for pregnant women to use malaria medicines to protect themselves and their unborn babies. She noted that the medicines were given free of charge to pregnant women, but patronage was not the best.

Dr Bart-Plange reminded Ghanaians that chloroquine and other single dose treatments were no longer effective and advised that the most effective anti-malaria drugs were Artemisinin based combination drugs.

Ms Lisa Kramer, Malaria Programme Manager at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), expressed the commitment of the organisations to help in the fight against malaria.

She pointed out that everybody was vulnerable to malaria and it was important that faith-based leaders joined in the fight.

Malaria is caused by a plasmodium parasite and transmitted through the bite of an infective female anopheles mosquito.

In Ghana, 7,500 malaria cases are reported at various hospitals on a daily basis and about 4,000 deaths are recorded a year as a result of malaria.

Source: GNA

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