No child under five died of malaria in a Ghanaian district first half of 2012

No child under five years died of malaria in the Aowin Suaman District in the first half of 2012, Mr Emmanuel Tamakloe, District Director of Health Service, has said.

He said this success, which is a record in the past six months, was an improvement over the same period of last year’s where three deaths were recorded.

Mr Tamakloe said this at a briefing on Monday when a group of journalists paid a working visit organized by United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to the Enchie District Hospital.

He attributed the achievement to the introduction of the Long Lasting Insecticide Treated nets (LLINs) hang-up campaign through the efforts of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), Ghana Health Service and UNICEF with funding from DfID in 2011.

“The difference between the Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) and LLIN is that ITN easily lose its efficacy when washed but the LLIN can last for five years,” he said.

Mr Tamakloe said the campaign was preceded by educational campaigns in the district followed by training of health personnel and community volunteers and finally the hanging of 83,000 LLINs in households.

He said half year reports of death among people above the age five bracket had reduced from 69, 16 and 11 in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively (half year).

Mr Tamakloe said the total number of malaria cases reported had increased from about 32,000 in 2010 to 49,000 in 2012 due to intensive sensitization to report cases early at the various health facilities.

“The increase is as result of sensitization of community members not to stay home but to report to the health center for treatment which is covered by the National Health Insurance”, he said.

Mr Tamakloe appealed to the government and development partners to support the district with logistics especially a vehicle to enhance the directorate’s work.

Mrs Evelyn Offeibea Baddoo, Communications Officer at UNICEF Ghana, said the LLIN hung-up campaign was implemented in the Western, Central, Brong Ahafo, Upper East, and Upper West regions and 2.35 million LLIN’s were distributed.

Dr Frank Agbemordzi, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, said in-patient children admission had reduced due to decrease in malaria cases.

Madam Salomey Takiye, 29, a resident of Ankaase said she hardly visited the hospital with her nine-month old baby since the introduction of the LLIN’s because “I always make sure he sleeps under the net. I am saving the money, which I would have used to pay medical bills, towards his education.”

Source: GNA

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