Health expert stresses need for testing before malaria treatment

mosquitoThe Sunyani Municipal Director of Health, Dr. Mrs. Paulina Appiah, has stressed the need for laboratory test before malaria treatment is administered to patients at health facilities.

She said malaria cases continued to be high because some patients at health facilities were first given malaria treatment before further investigations were conducted.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday in Sunyani, Dr Mrs Appiah said for lack of Rapid Diagnosis Test (RDT), every suspected malaria patient should first be tested for confirmation of the malaria parasite before treatment.

She appealed to medical officers to insist on a test of any child above five years to confirm the presence of malaria parasite before treatment is given.

Dr. Mrs. Appiah said malaria cases topped 10 causes of Out Patient Department (OPD) morbidity from all the 28 health facilities in the Municipality and that in 2012, all of them recorded 282,186 OPD cases in which 137,484 representing 49.0 per cent were malaria.

Others cases were Acute Respiratory Tract Infection, 29,608 (10.5 per cent), Acute Eye Infection, 11,929(4.0 per cent), Hypertension, 10,270(3.6 per cent), Diarrhea Diseases, 9,346(3.3 per cent) and Intestinal Worms, 8,653 (3.1 per cent).

The rest were Skin Diseases and Ulcers, 8,478 (3.0 per cent), Rheumatism and other Joint Pains, 5,747 (2.0 per cent), Anemia, 4,839 (1.7 per cent), Acute Ear Infections, 1,188 (0.4 per cent), the Municipal Health Director added.

She said 178 out of 5,319 pregnant women screened in the Municipality tested positives for the HIV/AIDS in 2012 while 151 cases were recorded in 2011.

Dr. Mrs. Appiah advised pregnant women to allow for HIV/AIDS screening starting early treatment to save their lives and their unborn babies.

She appealed to the general public, especially children and pregnant women, to sleep under insecticide treated mosquito nets to prevent mosquito bites which could lead to Malaria.

Source: GNA

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