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TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    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.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    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.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    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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Modest but steady progress in Ghana- says WHO Advisor

It was Ghana’s first president Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah who once observed that “Those who judge us merely by the heights we have attained would do well to remember the depths from which we began.”

When the great leader said these words, he had politics in mind. Today, however, we can still allude to the aphorism even in talking about science.

Translating this into perspective, WHO’s Advisor on Malaria in Ghana, Dr Felicia Owusu-Antwi, says the modest but steady progress Ghana has made in the fight against the disease is worthy of commendation given that the country happens to be in what is referred to as the high transmission zone.

Speaking on the theme for World Malaria Day (WMD) 2011, Achieving Progress And Impact, Dr Owusu-Antwi said “There has been about 30% reduction in under-five mortality rate and we all know that malaria is the main reason behind the deaths of children under 5 years of age.”

On the continent there are three main transmission zones; the high, the low and the malaria free areas.  Some countries in the low transmission zone (for example, Morocco in North Africa) have been able to eliminate malaria. Other countries like Tanzania have been able to reduce malaria burden by 50%.  Ghana happens to be in the high transmission zone which is more difficult but there have been some gains.

Analyzing WMD and the opportunity it affords the malaria community to improve access to affordable, safe and effective anti-malarial combination treatments, Dr Owusu-Antwi points out that Ghana can achieve even more through an inter-sectoral approach and private sector involvement in the quest to bring malaria under control.

Responding to the question of which parts in Ghana have recorded more positive results, the WHO Advisor replies, “Both urban and rural areas have their peculiarities when it comes to malaria transmission which makes this question a bit difficult to answer, but we are about to carry out a big malaria specific survey this year which will bring out the picture clearly.”

Dr Owusu-Antwi speaks highly of the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria, AMFM, as a laudable initiative and great progress in the fight against malaria.

“However, some problems can be anticipated if it is not supported with good monitoring. Some of these could be selling the medicines above the stipulated price or the medicines not reaching the remotest parts of the country.”

On the claims that some Asian countries have succeeded in fighting malaria with ‘fogging’ in combination with all the other tools, Dr Owusu-Antwi says “Fogging is not the approach. We know of Indoor Residual Spraying which is more effective and has been used in combination with other interventions Ghana is pursuing.”

“These interventions have the necessary impact when applied on a large scale and Ghana is building up its partnership to achieve large-scale impact with the interventions so we have AngloGold Ashanti, a private entity, collaborating with the public sector to scale up indoor residual spraying in the country and other partners helping to scale up and promote the use of long lasting insecticide treated bed nets and materials.”

With the collaboration of all partners including the media, Dr Owusu-Antwi is hopeful the Millennium Development Goal 6 can be achieved if the currently known interventions are augmented.

“Malaria is not only related to the MDG 6. Indeed, the control of malaria will have impact on MDGs 1, 4 and 5 as well.   The media therefore has a key role to play in malaria control when it comes to behavioral change communication and advocacy.”

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