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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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  • Volume 1

A Race to the finishing line

Stakeholders engaged in malaria control in Ghana are relieved that the disease is no longer the leading cause of death in the country, although it is still responsible for a lot of ill health,

Currently, statistics from the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and the Health Ministry show that there is a marked reduction in malaria case fatality in children under-5 years, reduction in deaths attributable to malaria in health facilities, and reduction in deaths among pregnant women.

But it is not yet time to celebrate victory over malaria especially when other African countries are scoring high marks and being applauded on their efforts to eliminate the disease.

Being upbeat about elimination may be unrealistic for Ghana, however making steady progress towards achieving the dream of elimination is worth pursuing because of indicators showcasing successes stories in the country's malaria control activities.

These positive indicators notwithstanding however, players and officials at the battle front are fired up with zeal, determination and purpose to ensure that the gains made so far are not brought down, especially in the face of the mad rush for the in-thing: Malaria elimination, a bandwagon everyone is joining.

With this road map in mind and the final whistle to malaria elimination still some years away, stakeholders are bent on reducing malaria transmission areas in Ghana and reducing malaria morbidity by 75% of a 2008 baseline by the year 2018. To this end, sleeves were rolled up last November, as over 70 key players from various organizations such as the NMCP, Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health, Food and Drugs Authority, AngloGold Ashanti, development and funding agencies, met at a stakeholders' meeting to fine-tune a National Strategic Plan for malaria control in Ghana from 2014 to 2018.

The move is to co-ordinate malaria control activities effectively through a multi-sectoral approach. The occasion also saw the inauguration of the Inter-agency Malaria Committee to help in the implementation of this plan.

Dr Felicia Amoo-Sakyi of the NMCP, throwing more light on the reason for the meeting said, there was the need to restrategise towards accelerated malaria control to increase more malaria-free zones in the country and to develop a strategic plan from 2014-2018 which would be in line with the National Health Policy.

She touched on some strides made and said these include a malaria parasite prevalence drop from “the 51-75% levels to 27.5% in 2011.” Adding that the under-5 malaria case fatality rates have dropped from 3.7 per cent in 2002 to 0.6 in 2012.While on the global scene, the country has made progress as all the RBM Abuja targets were achieved by 2010 with the exception of the use of treated bed nets in children under-5, which lagged behind.

Touching on the strategic direction for the next 5 years, Dr Keziah Malm, Deputy Programme Manager at the NMCP, said the strategic plan has a “vision to achieve and sustain near-zero malaria deaths.”

She explained that the mission is simple: To ensure that the whole population of Ghana has universal and equitable access to interventions for malaria prevention and treatment.

Under this broad goal, among the specific objectives would be to increase intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy uptake from 42 per cent to 80 per cent and to spray at least 90% of houses in targeted indoor residual spraying (IRS) districts annually.

Other objectives are to provide parasitological diagnosis for at least 90 per cent of suspected malaria cases by 2018 and to ensure that 100 per cent of confirmed malaria cases receive prompt and appropriate treatment.

Dr Malm said there should be an administration of seasonal malaria chemo-prevention (SMC) to at least 80 per cent of children aged 3 to 59 months, in targeted areas by 2018.

An important addition to these projectedinterventions, would be to improve and expand Information, Education and Communication together with Behavi our Change Communication (IEC/BCC) in order to reduce misconceptions about malaria transmission and treatment during the next 5 years.

Mr Kwame Gakpey of the NMCP, who touched on strategies for advocacy during these 5 years, said there would be the need to strengthen support from political leadership, policy makers, opinion leaders and corporate sectors among others.

On the availability of malaria commodities for the successful delivery of service in implementing the plan, he said the objective of the management of malaria commodities is to provide commodity security so that 90 per cent of people with suspected malaria cases will have access to diagnostic tools, both rapid diagnostic or microscopy tests.

Also the aim would be to get 100 per cent confirmed cases having access to appropriate ACTs and 90 per cent of confirmed severe malaria having access to artesunate injection among others.

Meanwhile the country is also making preparations to bring on board the RTS,S malaria candidate vaccine once it receives licensure within the next few years.

And the target is to ensure that the vaccine would cover at least 85 per cent of the target group. The processes are on-going for a policy-decision on the introduction of the malaria vaccine.

This would include the creation of a favourable environment to roll-out vaccines and ensure adequate delivery and monitoring systems, in terms of supply, procurement, management, monitoring and surveillance of the malaria vaccine programme.

Mr Joseph Yieleh-Chireh, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, who inaugurated the Interagency Malaria Committee, charged them to help with the implementation of the 5-year malaria control plan.

He said not only should the members on the committee provide oversight control over the strategic programmes lined up but they must assist the NMCP to raise funds to run activities being projected for 2014 to 2018.

Programme Manager of the NMCP, Dr Constance Bart-Plange said although the committee has been in existence for the past 7 years, it is time to broaden its membership and re-fuel it because of the multi-sector nature needed to tackle the disease and the need to bring on board different key players who would be playing different strategic roles to help contain the disease.

Eleventh Edition