By Elorm Aryee
This year’s World Malaria Day was commemorated in Hohoe in the Volta Region with a call on Ghanaians to support the government’s effort at achieving the goals of the current National Malaria Strategic Plan by 2025. The three main goals of the Plan are to reduce malaria mortality by 90 %, reduce malaria case incidence by 50 % and to achieve malaria pre-elimination in at least six districts by 2025.
The Programmes Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme, Dr Keziah Malm who made the call said though the health service has made progress in the fight against malaria in the country more needs to be done to eliminate the disease.
Statistics from the Ghana Health Service indicate that malaria is the number one cause of outpatient attendance in health facilities and the highest disease expenditure under the National Health Insurance Scheme. Interventions such as distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets and intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women across the country among others are being rolled out to reduce malaria infections. Dr Malm urged Ghanaians to actively engage in the fight against malaria by using all available interventions to protect themselves and their families to end the malaria menace in Ghana.
”Let me reiterate that great progress has been made with the adequate resources at the disposal of the health service, nonetheless the journey to elimination is still afar off. I am hopeful that everyone would join the campaign to end malaria in Ghana because it is feasible”, she said.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Mahama Asei Seini said malaria makes achieving sustainable growth and development challenging hence the need to intensify the campaign against malaria. The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa called for multi-stakeholder involvement in the fight against malaria.
“Each one of us has a role to play to end malaria. Let us keep our environment clean and let is sleep under insecticide treated bed nets. Pregnant women should take their malaria preventive medicines and let us seek medical attention early and get tested and treated for malaria to avoid complications”, he said.
World Malaria Day is marked annually on 25th April to focus globally on malaria and its devastating impact on families, Communities and societal development especially for sub–Saharan Africa.
This year’s event was themed Advance Equity, Build Resilience, End Malaria. The event was attended by health workers, heads of government institutions, religious and traditional leaders, students among others.