Malaria tops OPD cases at Appiatse Relief Camp

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed malaria as the leading cause of health reported cases at the Appiatse Relief Camp in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region.

According to officials at the health post in the Camp, the disease affected all ages but was common among children due to their weak immune system.

The facility has all health personnel to take care of all cases – midwives, nurses, child wellness, disease control officers and health promotion officers.

On Thursday, January 20, a truck carrying explosives from Maxam Ghana Limited, exploded killing at least 13 people in the Appiatse community.

Hundreds including children were displaced, while others were injured making the once vibrant Appiatse community a pale show of itself, a situation which birthed the Appiatse Relief Camp.

Maxam Ghana was asked after the government’s investigations to pay a total of US$6 million, including a $1 million fine for regulatory breaches.

President Akufo-Addo has since directed that the additional $5 million be donated to the Appiatse Support Fund set up by the government to reconstruct the community.

The health officials, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, mentioned coughing, bodily pains and wounds dressing as other health challenges facing residents at the Camp and attributed them to the impact of the explosion and weather.

For the malaria cases, the health officials attributed it to residents refusal to sleep in treated mosquito nets due to heat in the tents.

Also, many have remained adamant to regular public education for them to observe good personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness.

That has resulted in stagnant waters which served as fertile grounds for breeding mosquitoes aside the spots of overgrown weeds around the camp.

“All residents here have refused to sleep in the treated mosquito nets, claiming it got in the nets and tents.

“They are many in the rooms so who should buy the mosquito spray is a problem and they claim they don’t have money to buy repellents,” the health officials lamented.

The health officials reiterated the need for the people to always sleep under treated insecticide mosquito nets to protect them from the disease.

Parents must ensure they take their children to the hospital for any suspected case rather than treat them at home and urged them to desist from staying out late.

They should encourage proper hand-washing, avoid over the counter medication, knowing that, “excess use of malaria drugs and the refusal by people to use the treated insecticide mosquito nets as some of the challenges hindering the fight against malaria in the country.

Some malaria patients cited their refusal to sleep under treated mosquito nets as main contributory factor.

Madam Ernestina Adobah, said: “Sleeping in the heat-filled tent is not easy, how much more the uneasiness with sleeping in the mosquito nets.

“We need more tents so we can check some of these things. How do you lay your net in a small room occupied by dozens with no sleeping place,” she noted.

Source: GNA

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