Ghana records 10 million cases of malaria in 2015

MalariaGhana is said to have recorded about 10 million cases of malaria in 2015, contributing 38.1 OPD cases.

However, Dr Frank Baiden, Executive Director, Institute of Public Health, has observed that the country is making gains in malaria reduction.

He said though current average prevalence is higher than found in the 2011 survey, the figures still represent substantial reduction over those of years past.

“We’ve made gains but they are fragile and need sustained efforts to keep the burden down,” Dr Baiden stated.

He was addressing a day’s media sensitisation workshop in Ho ahead of this year’s World Malaria Day.

The workshop was organised by the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) on the theme: “The role of the media in eliminating malaria.”

He said malaria eradication efforts by the country resulted in remarkable reduction in cases from 2011 to 2014 and expressed the hope that with renewed focus and commitment, the current generation could end malaria.

Dr Baiden said the continuous confinement of Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) in laboratories and consulting rooms is disastrous for the campaign against “end malaria for good”, and charged health authorities to use the kits at the OPDs.

He also asked them to encourage teachers and parents to use the kits at school and homes because, “it is the common man’s product not a laboratory product”.

Dr Lord Mensah, Acting Medical Director, Volta Regional Hospital said it is important to build on progress made under the Millennium Development Goals to “end malaria for good” under the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said lives saved from malaria are estimated to account for 20 per cent of all progress in reducing child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000.

Dr Mensah said efforts to prevent malaria in pregnancy alone averted 94,000 newborn deaths from 2009 and 2012.

Mrs Charity Binka, Executive Secretary AMMREN said effective engagement of the media in finding ways to deal with malaria is a major step towards attaining 90 per cent reduction in malaria incidence and mortality rates by 2030 as estimated by the World Health Organisation.

She urged the media to empower individuals to adopt behaviours that would foster control and elimination of malaria, and keep the disease at the forefront of policy and public agendas.

World Malaria Day is commemorated every year on April 25, with wide range of activities to keep the fight against the killer disease.

The World Health Organisation says there were 214 million new cases of malaria worldwide in 2015, with 438,000 deaths.

It says from 2000 and 2015, 57 countries achieved reductions in new malaria cases of least 75 per cent.

Source: GNA

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