Malaria related deaths dip in Central Region

The Central Region has witnessed a significant reduction in malaria related deaths over the last twenty-five months due to improved case management at the Regional Health Directorate.

It recorded a sharp decline of malaria related deaths from 104 in 2016 to 35 in 2017 as well as a decrease in Out Patient Department (OPD) from 628,384 to 618,820 over the same period respectively.

Mr Moses Asante, the Regional Malaria Control Coordinator, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the 2018 Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINS) Point Mass Distribution (PMD) exercise held on Wednesday in Cape Coast.

The meeting was aimed at integrating the views and support of all stakeholders to achieve its target of covering 80 per cent of the population and 90 per cent of households in the Region.

The seven days registration of households commenced from Monday, May 14 to Sunday, May 20, 2018, across all the 22 Districts in the Region and was spearheaded by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and its partners.

Meanwhile, statistics by the GHS has revealed a remarkable reduction in malaria cases in terms of the prevalence rate in the country.

Ghana, which was in a hyper-transmission area, has witnessed a major decline in malaria cases and deaths as under- five malaria death cases dropped from 14.4 per cent in 2000 to 0.32 per cent in 2016.

Even though suspected malaria cases increased by 6.9 per cent in 2016 as compared with the previous year, admission and deaths attributed to the disease, however, decreased by 6.3 per cent in 2015 and 24.6 per cent in 2016.

But at the regional level, Mr Asante attributed the decline in malaria related deaths to a scaled-up community based treatment of malaria in all districts through the home base care of malaria, targeting children under five years, especially those living in rural areas and areas with limited access.

In addition to that was an effective distribution and adherence to usage procedures on LLINs coupled with a well-planned and efficient malaria control management team with readily available drugs.

The Regional Malaria Control Coordinator described malaria as an ailment of great public health concern and a challenge to human and socio-economic development with dire consequences on productivity and limited economic resources.

It is the leading cause for out-patients attendance and continued to be the leading cause of mortality, especially in children under five years, and that the GHS has adopted the distribution of LLINS, roll back malaria, public outreach programmes among other strategies.

Therefore, he urged the public to cover all holes near their homes, to prevent mosquitoes from breeding when it rained, adding that it was the most prompt and effective treatment necessary for controlling and reducing malaria related deaths.

Mr Asante admonished pregnant women and children to religiously sleep under the LLINs for maximum protection against the mother and the unborn baby.

He appealed to stakeholders in the Region to cooperate fully with the Registration Assistance (RA) and Supervisors during the registration period to ensure success.

“Every effort must be made to adhere to the various policies on diagnosis and treatment of the disease to sustain the gains made and improve upon it,” he advised.

Several stakeholders including officials from the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Information Services Department (ISD), Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU), traditional and religious leaders, Assembly members, media and health personnel graced the occasion.

Source: GNA

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