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Upper West records highest malaria cases and related deaths

The Upper West Region recorded the highest number of malaria cases and also topped in malaria related deaths from 2011 to 2016, according to Mr Saani Nyuasun, the Sissala East Municipal Disease Control Officer.

Speaking at a seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) stakeholders forum, he said the number of children recorded with malaria parasites was alarming.

He said, the meeting was geared towards implementing strategies to combat malaria among children between the ages of three and five.

The seasonal malaria chemoprevention exercise is a preventive intervention implemented by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in collaboration with its partners in 2015 in the Region.

It was to provide malaria vaccines for children between the ages of 3-5 years to prevent them from getting malaria even if they are bitten by mosquitoes.

Mr Nyuasun said malaria cases are more common during the raining season with children being the most affected.
Relying heavily on the 2011, 2014 and 2016 malaria survey results, He said the Upper West Region recorded malaria cases and deaths up to 51.2 per cent in 2011 and in 2014 it was 37.5 per cent, then went down to 21. 3 percent in 2016.

Mr Nyuasun said, the Upper West Region registered the highest number of reported cases and deaths with children under five years being at a higher risk.

However, he said, before the Sissala East Municipality could be pronounced as malaria free zone, it has to move to the control stage through to the pre-elimination stage then to the elimination stage and finally to the eradication stage.

Mr Nyuasun said, the malaria control interventions being carried out by the health service are the distribution of Long-Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs), Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), intermittent preventive treatment, Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) and case management diagnosis and treatment.

He said, failure to treat malaria at its early stages of development could lead to spontaneous abortions, deformities in children, cerebral malaria culminating to mental disorder and learning disabilities among children.

Nyuasun urged the community to join in the ongoing campaign to combat malaria among children, particularly during the raining season and in the months of July, August, September and October.

He appealed to stakeholders to support the SMC exercise by providing resources such as funds and vehicles as well as promote other disease prevention interventions.

Source: GNA

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