The Districts include New Juaben, West Akim, Asunafo North and Mpohor Wassa East. The rest are Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar, Fanteakwa and Amansie West.
The bed nets, which were sourced from Vestergaard Frandsen, distributors of the world acclaimed insecticide nets, were in response to reducing the high malaria incidence in the country, particularly in the operational area of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership.
The Programme Director, Cadbury Cocoa Partnership Ghana, Mrs Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, said “this is to address the high incidence of malaria in our partner communities. It is part of our CCP Ghana programme’s Health Strategy. We believe that a thriving cocoa community is one that does not carry a heavy health burden.”
The Ministry of Health (MOH) estimates that between three million and 3.5 million cases of suspected malaria are reported each year in public health facilities, representing 30 percent to 40 percent of outpatient attendance.
Of this figure, over 900,000 are children under the age of five. Malaria also accounts for about 61 per cent of hospital admissions of children under five years and eight per cent of admissions of pregnant women.
It is estimated that malaria accounts for 22 percent of under-five mortality and nine percent of maternal deaths, according to the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2008.
In a baseline study commissioned by the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, which informed the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership Ghana programme’s Health Strategy, about 97 percent (341) of all respondents in all partner communities know malaria as a deadly disease.
However, apart from a community in the Mpohor Wassa East District, which put the frequency of persons sleeping in bed-nets or ITNs at 20.6 per cent, persons in the rest of the partner communities of the seven districts scored lower frequencies.
Those who were not using ITNs said it was because they did not have one or had had various allergic reactions to the chemical in the ITNs while those that used it also said the ITNs had been used for a long time and required re-treatment to maintain their efficacy.
Mrs Amekudzi said the donation was part of the response to tackle the concerns by the partner communities and ensure that the cocoa growing communities remained healthy to carry out their farming business.
Vestergaard Frandsen also donated 300 insecticide treated curtains to staff of Cadbury, which Mrs Amekudzi said would be distributed to all staff, particularly those who worked in the partner communities.
Mrs Amekudzi added that the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership was happy about its new relationship with Vestergaard Frandsen in which Vestergaard Frandsen is not only selling insecticide-treated bed nets but providing training to the frontline staff of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership and identified community members for effective utilisation of the bed nets.