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75,762 malaria cases top OPD attendance in Asutifi District

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The Asutifi District Health Directorate in Brong-Ahafo recorded 75,762 cases of malaria in 2010, Dr. Richard Henneh, District Director of Health Services has disclosed.

He said the disease also topped the Out Patient Department (OPD) cases in the various health facilities in the district in that year.

Dr. Henneh disclosed this at a durbar to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day at Acherensua on Thursday.

The durbar was organised by the Ahafo Mine of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) and was aimed at educating communities within its operational area on prevention as the key step to reducing malaria cases in the district.

Dr. Henneh observed that looking at the rapid rate at which the disease was spreading in the district, there was the need for a collaborative approach from all stakeholders to bring it under control.

He advised parents, especially pregnant and nursing mothers to ensure that they sleep under lasting treated mosquito nets to avoid contracting the disease.

Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, Acting Regional Director of Health Services, advised parents to seek prompt medical care for their children who develop fever.

He also entreated them to comply with the regimen of drugs prescribed for them in the cure of the disease.

Dr. Tenkorang re-echoed the adverse effects malaria continues to have on society, stating that socio-economically, the disease causes high level of absenteeism, loss of productivity and poverty.

He explained that there were proven effective tools, interventions and strategies made available to control malaria and advised the general public to seek early healthcare at the nearest facility when they fall sick.

Mr. Dan Michaelsen, General Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility of NGGL, said the company started its Community Malaria Control Program in 2009 by training district health staff on malaria diagnosis at the Kintampo College of Health.

He said NGGL had also equipped the Gyedu Health Centre with diagnostic tools and embarked on door-to-door education, demonstrated and distributed 1,500 treated bed nets for households at the OLA and Ntotroso Resettlement communities.

Additionally, Newmont organized quiz competitions on malaria aimed at sensitizing students of Senior High Schools to become change agents in their communities,” he stated.

Mr. Michaelsen gave the assurance that Newmont Ahafo mine would continue with its education, demonstration and distribution of long lasting bed nets to health facilities in the Asutifi and Tano North Districts for distribution to households to curb the spread of malaria.

Mr. Eric Addae, District Chief Executive, commended Newmont for distributing 1,000 lasting bed nets to residents at Kenyasi number one and Kenyasi number two and Ntotroso resettlement communities.

He expressed gratitude for the fact that the mining company in 2010 distributed 3,500 nets to communities and schools in the district and urged the company to continue with its social responsibility programmes.

As part of the celebration, NGGL organised a malaria screening exercise at the durbar grounds and has scheduled an inter-school quiz competition on malaria for selected Junior High Schools in the area.

Source: GNA

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