Survey shows high malaria prevalence in Ghana’s savannah zone

market1A Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed that there is a high prevalence of malaria among children aged between 56 months and six in the savannah zone.

The zone’s prevalence rate stands at 44 per cent compared with the 14 per cent in the coastal and the forest zone’s 28 per cent.

Mr Anthony Amuzu Pharis, a Principal Statistician of the GSS, told a dissemination workshop on the MICS for the media in Kumasi that the survey was done in year 2011.

He said the findings established that the disease was also high in the rural areas than the urban centres with the prevalence rate in the former coming to 39 per cent as against the latter’s 13 per cent.

Again it was lower among children whose mothers or caretakers have had some level of education – only five per cent those whose mothers are educated, as against 43 per cent of children whose mothers or caretakers have had no education.

Participants at the workshop were drawn from the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Eastern Regions.

It provided valuable information on the situation of children and women in respect of the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Information provided ranged from issues relating to their nutrition status, anaemia prevalence, reproductive health, water and sanitation, literacy and education, as well as HIV/AIDS and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United States Agency for International Development (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Japanese Government, the Health Ministry, Malaria Control Programme and other international organizations sponsored the MICS.

Mr Pharis underlined the need to intensify education on malaria, to create the necessary awareness and bring down the disease.

Malaria accounts for about 38 per cent of all out-patient department cases, 35 per cent of all admissions and about 34 per cent of deaths in children under the age of five years.

The MICS revealed that anaemia was also high among children aged 12-17 months and this condition again was three times higher in the savannah than the coastal and forest zones.

Source: GNA

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