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    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.


    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.


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By Norman Cooper -Ghana

Ghana happens to be one of the few African countries that is leaving no Gstone unturned to ensure that bed nets use  is widely promoted as one of the  effective  ways  to  deal  a  blow  to malaria once and  for all.

Treated  bed  nets  use  has  become popular  among  the  population  as  a result of the sustained public education campaigns  not  only  by  Ministry  of Health and the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) but also the private sector  establishments  with  support from international partners such as the World Health Organization  (WHO)  and the  United  Nations  Children  Fund (UNICEF).

Ready  statistics  from  the  Navrongo Health  Research  Centre  (NHRC)  in  the Kassena Nankana District of  the Upper East Region, where a total of 3.5 million bed nets had been distributed in Ghana from 1998 to 2007 of its introduction in the anti-malaria health delivery system are currently revealing milestones  in the fight against malaria.

This has  led to an  increase  in households with bed nets from 48.3 per cent  in 2005 to 51.1 per cent  in 2006. Within a period of three years,  ITN use  in children under  five  increased  from 3.5 per cent  to 22 per cent.  During  the same period,  bed  net  use  among  pregnant women also moved from 3.3 per cent to 46.5 per cent.

According to the Ghana Malaria Action Alert, 3,398 locally sewn nets have been treated at Kantamanto market in Accra since  2006,  2,260  others  locally  sewn nets  were  treated  in  Kumasi  Central market  between  September  2006  and July 2007.

It  further  states  that  2.1million  nets were  distributed  free  of  charge  to children  under  two  years  during  a measles campaign  in November 2006.

Although Ghana has made a significant progress over the  last few years,  it still has  a  long  way  to  go  in  achieving extensive coverage and use of bed nets to protect communities against malaria.

There  are  still  48.9  per  cent  of households without  insecticide treated bed  nets  coverage,  68  per  cent  of children under  five and 54 per cent of pregnant women not using  ITNs.

FIFTY three African Heads of State and governments  met  in  the  Nigerian capital, Abuja, on April 25, 2000  to adopt the  Roll  Back  Malaria  Initiative  to intensify efforts to halve malaria related deaths  in Africa by 2010. At  the  meeting,  the  African  leaders committed  themselves  to  initiate By MOMODOU FAAL, THE GAMBIA appropriate  and   sustainable  action  to strengthen  health  systems  to  ensure that by year 2005, at least 60 per cent of those  suffering  from  malaria  have prompt  access  to,  and  are  able  to
cor rec t l y   use,   af fordable  and appropriate treatment within 24 hours of  the onset of symptoms.

They  also  committed  themselves  to ensure that at least 60 per cent of those at  risk of malaria, particularly  children under  five  years  of  age  and  pregnant women, benefit from the most suitable combina t ion  of   pe r sona l   and community protective measures such as insecticide  treated mosquito  nets  and other  interventions which are accessible
and affordable to prevent infection and suffering.

Nearly  nine  years  down  the  line,  it  is most  unfortunate  that  not  much  has been achieved.

There is still no reduction in the 350-500 million  global  clinical malaria episodes resulting  from  more  than  one  million deaths.

Africans has much to worry as over 80 per cent of the over one million deaths caused by malaria globally occur in the African continent each year and that the disease  remains  the  leading  cause  of under-five mortality. But there is hope for Africa. One of most
proven  and  perhaps  the  major breakthroughs of the  four  intervention areas,  in  recent  years  is  the  use  of Insecticide  Treated mosquito  bed  nets other wise  known  as  (ITNs).This  is  the easiest  way  malaria  can  be  fought  to stop  the  unnecessary  deaths  on  the continent.

ITNs  give  a  much  higher  degree  of protection  against  malaria,  as  well  as stopping  the bite. The net is incidentally, a chemical death trap  for  the mosquitoes  drawn  to  the
bait of  the sleeping person.   According  to  research,  properly  used, ITNs can cut malaria transmission by at least 60 per cent and child deaths by a fifth.

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