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Reduction of malaria cases in Northern Region still slow despite interventions

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mosquitoThe rate of reduction in malaria cases in the Northern Region is slower than targeted despite interventions, making it the number one cause of death especially in children below five years and in pregnant women.

The Region recorded a total of 848,387 malaria cases in 2012 with the Tamale Metropolis recording the highest number of cases of 113,924 representing 13 per cent.

Dr John Abenyeri, the Northern Regional Focal Person on Malaria, said out of 4,032 deaths recorded in 2012 in the Region, 815 representing 20.2 per cent were caused by malaria.

He was speaking at a day’s training workshop on malaria programming organized by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Malaria (GCNM) in Tamale on Wednesday.

It was to build capacity of members of GCNM from various operational districts of the Region in the management of their NGOs in relation to malaria programming to support efforts by the National Malaria Control Programme and its partners to eliminate the disease in the country.

Dr Abenyeri mentioned the interventions being implemented to reduce the incidence of malaria as scaling up access to long lasting insecticide nets, to achieve universal coverage, improve access to prompt and effective treatment, and implementation of  intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy to ensure the safety of the foetus.

He, therefore, stressed the need for household in the Region to use the treated nets provided them.

He also called for environmental hygiene to prevent breeding of mosquitoes as well as seeking early treatment to prevent deaths.

Mr Ibrahim Tahir, the Northern Regional President of GCNM, said the coalition would build on the outcome of the workshop to develop a two-year strategic plan to contribute to efforts at meeting Millennium Development Goals four and five by 2015.

Mr Tahir called for cooperation between members of GCNM and stakeholders including Regional Coordinating Councils, the Ghana Health Service, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to undertake campaigns and advocacy to reduce the trend.

Mr Agyarko Collins Nti, National President of GCNM, said the coalition was registering a lot more NGOs to help in achieving the national objectives of malaria control, which amongst others, was to reduce malaria cases by 75 per cent in 2015.

Mr Emmanuel Fiagbey, Country Director of John Hopkins University – Center for Communication Programmes, called on NGOs to make accountability their watch-word in whatever they did to ensure transparency and enable them to attract more funding support.

Source: GNA

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