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The Latest Edition of "Eyes on malaria" magazine will be out very soon!! | CALL FOR ARTICLES: AMMREN is inviting journalists / writers / scientists interested in reporting on malaria to send articles for publication in its international magazine “Eyes on Malaria” and for posting on its website. Please contact the AMMREN Secretariat for more details click here. Enjoy your stay!. Volunteers and interns urgently needed to work with an NGO working in the area of malaria and health. Apply through - ammren1@gmail.com / ammren1@yahoo.com. Journalists interested in reporting on and writing articles on health issues should please reply through this email: ammren1@gmail.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS:::

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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  • Volume 1

A Tale of Two Discoveries

By Carlton Cofie- Ghana

Ghana is set to benefit from two wonderful discoveries - oil and a malaria vaccine. The oil is already being drilled while the RTS,S malaria vaccine is still being developed and therefore at the incubation stage.

These discoveries both deserve a good mention and are reasons for great joy among Ghanaians, especially as they both contribute to making Ghana a wealthy nation.

At the communities where these discoveries are taking place, there is a genuine reason why the people are exhilarated. 

Be that as it may, our politicians have indicated that as long as they have to keep turning the wheels of state, they would rather train their telescopes on the oil sites.

Government is overjoyed only at the oil discovery. Almost every day you hear one minister or the other talking about preparations to take advantage of the oil exploration. It has become fashionable to join in the debate about ‘collateralizing’ the oil wells to expedite development. Yeah, right!

While all this is going on, African scientists are up to their necks in action, conducting clinical trials in our villages to develop a vaccine for our children, so they have a fighting chance against malaria- a disease which claims a child’s life every 30 seconds.

Yes, government believes in wealth creation, however it seems not be actively giving the message out that the health of our children is indeed the wealth of Ghana’s future.


Donor funds are being used to develop the vaccine and the least governments can do is to make more noise about it and generate public interest and support. So why are our politicians silent on such a big thing?

Priorities

Not long ago, Ghana’s Vice President John Mahama was billed to be the guest of honour at the INDEPTH Network’s scientific meeting which brought together 268 scientists and researchers to consider challenges and new trends in health and demographic surveillance in low and middle income economies. The Vice President chose instead to attend a meeting on oil exploration, and arranged for a Minister to stand-in for him at the INDEPTH meeting.

Civil service organizations on the continent say with pride that due to the failure of governments to deliver on their mandate, NGOs now take credit for 99 % of development projects in communities.

Perhaps, the argument of government would be that it is pursuing wealth first in order to tackle the problems of health. Having to solve a typical chicken and egg riddle, we ask ourselves, which one comes first?  Do we pursue health before wealth, or wealth before health?

This issue has baffled researchers working on the vaccine. They wonder how an ambivalent government will be able to persuade other countries on the continent to use the vaccine, when it becomes licensed, and incorporate it into the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, (EPI).

At the community level, the district health directorate has been working closely with the vaccine trial sites to ensure that all professional, health and safety regulations are.

The Information Service Department, (ISD), in Agogo for example is involved in the trials, sending out a clarion call for the community’s participation to support.

However, researchers are still of the opinion that government could do more on the national stage to drum up more support.

But, at a time when it should be motivating our researchers, government is busy looking elsewhere. This is worrying, considering the fact that under-development is mainly due to the fact that governments in Africa do not allow research to inform policy decisions.

Even worse, our politicians are finding it really difficult to focus on anything that does not involve the exploration of oil.

It is difficult to determine where our priorities lie. Is it the creation of wealth before health or the other way round? The truth is without health there can be no wealth and there will be no sound mind. It appears the country has .left the funding for health research to our development partners in the West who invariable dictate the agenda. But there is a heavy dependence on donor funding. And in these times of donor fatigue,  governments in the developing world have to re-define their priorities and allocate funds for health research if really they care about their people.

Editions: 
Sixth Edition