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Business community urged to help fight malaria

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Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi, Eastern Regional Minister, has appealed to the business community to extend their corporate social responsibility programmes towards the fight against malaria.

He said the fight against malaria was not the monopoly of the government but a shared responsibility that demanded the collaboration from the public and the private sectors, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and civil society at large.

Dr Apea-Kubi was speaking at the Eastern Regional Launch of the Affordable Medicine Facility for Malaria (AMFm) campaign in Koforidua.

He said it had been estimated that, in the absence of effective intervention strategies, the number of malaria cases would double over the next 20 years, since it continued to be a leading cause of morbidity in the country, accounting for over 30 percent of all out-patient attendance in health facilities.

He said one of the pillars of malaria control, in the roll back malaria initiative, is case management, which was based on the principle of early detection of the disease and prompt treatment, using appropriate and effective anti-malaria drugs.

Dr Apea-Kubi said it was for that reason that in the year 2004, a new anti malaria drug policy was adopted, the use of Artemisinin base combination therapies (ACT’s) which replaced chloroquine, whose efficacy was suspect.

He noted that when the drug, Artesunate/Amodiaquine was introduced, it was realized that many people could not tolerate it.

He said following a policy review, Artemether-Lumefantrine and Dihydro Artemisin-Piperaquine were chosen as second line for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria for patients, who could not tolerate the Artesunate-Amodiaquine combination.

Dr Apea-Kubi noted that Ghana was a beneficiary of the Global funded Affordable Medicine Facility for Malaria, the facility designed to help selected countries access anti-malaria drugs at very low and affordable prices.

He advised all to patronize the ACT’s with the green logo of the global fund once it was confirmed that they had malaria.

He expressed heartfelt appreciation of the government of Ghana to the development partners in their efforts in funding programmes and assured them of the government’s commitment to making funds available to support the National Malaria Control Programme.

Ms Vivian Ama Aubyn, National Coordinator, AMFm, noted that the affordability of the drug did not mean it was of poor quality, fake or substandard, but because the government had been able to negotiate with Global Fund to pay for a large part of the cost.

She said the drug was affordable and available to all who would need it, especially the poor, as well as those in remote areas and the vulnerable in the society.

“It is our fervent desire and believe that no one must die from malaria because he or she could not afford to buy quality assured medicine”, she added.

Source: GNA

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