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Ghana, others benefit from $55m malaria prevention programme

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Ghana and 16 other African countries are benefiting from a $55 million project to tackle malaria in developing countries.

Under the project, free insecticide treated bed nets, (ITNs) would be distributed under five-years.

A non-governmental organization, Episcopal Relief and Development, under its NETSFORLIFE campaign, is running the project with sponsorship from corporate bodies such as Standard Chartered Bank, Coca Cola Africa Foundation and ExxonMobil.

Mr Samuel Asiedu, a representative of Episcopal Relief and Development, said these at an ITN’s free distribution ceremony at Dawa in the Dangme West district of the Greater Accra region.

As part of this year’s observance of the World Malaria Day, the African Media and Malaria Research Network, (AMMREN) organized the event in partnership with the Episcopal Relief and Development, the Dangme West Health Centre and Dodowa Health Research Centre, to help communities acquire the ITNs and properly install them to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Mr Asiedu said under the initiative, being run in other countries such as Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Liberia, volunteers are trained to go to the communities to help families hang the nets in their homes.

Dr Evelyn Ansah, District Director of Health Services, said malaria takes about nine per cent of the total expenditure on health.

She told the community members that malaria is not caused by exerting one’s self in the hot sun or eating oily or unripe fruits.

She touched on the misuse of the nets for trapping small fishes and  used for purposes other than that of hanging them to prevent mosquito bites.

Dr Margaret Gyapong, Director of the Dodowa Health Research Centre, said the Centre has conducted several malaria studies in areas such as rectal artesunate deployment and the use of rapid diagnostic tests kits, which has influenced national malaria policies.

Mr Emmanuel Odoi Lartey, District Chief Executive of the area, touched on the havoc that malaria has caused, adding that is an old disease which has affected communities.

Mrs Charity Binka, Executive Secretary of AMMREN, questioned why governments across Africa are not doing more to tackle malaria to fulfill the Abuja pledges of bringing down the disease.

By Eunice Menka

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One comment

  1. Our best hope lies in our own efforts to rid our surroundings of filth or change our littering habits. Decades ago local governments utilized their town council security personnel to enforce compliance of local ordinances regulating littering and hygiene. Today centralization of power , lack of zeal to encourage or educate local masses into embracing responsible standards of behaviour and political grandstanding poison efforts to address these health issues effectively. It is hard to understand the logic behind our willingness to accept bandaid-handouts to mitigate problems we ourselves can address.