A quiz competition organised by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) for selected basic schools in Oyarifa ended in Accra on Friday.
The competition focused on causes of malaria, its prevention and cure.
The participating schools included Oyarifa Presbyterian Basic School, Agape International School, Wisdom International School, Mount Sinai Preparatory, Damfa Methodist, Aisha Bintu Islamic School and Ayi Mensah M/A Basic, among others.
Agape International School emerged winners of the keenly contested competition, followed by Mount Sinai Preparatory and Aisha Bintu, Ayi Mensah respectively.
Addressing students after the competition, the Public Relations Officer of the NMIMR, Madam Gloria Obeng-Benefo, urged the pupils to keep their surroundings clean to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and the contraction of malaria.
She said since malaria was preventable, it was very important for members of the public, especially pregnant women and children, to ensure they always slept in treated mosquito nets or used approved insecticides to ward off mosquitoes and protect themselves from the disease.
“When you go home, teach your parents all the knowledge you have acquired here and play your part in ensuring you live a malaria-free life. It is possible because malaria is preventable.
“Sew nets when they are torn and do not wash them more than three times in a year. Such practices will help combat malaria and reduce its prevalence rate,” she advised.
According to Madam Obeng-Benefo, NMINR sought to increase awareness and education on health among Ghanaian communities through the involvement of students as agents.
These students, she said, ended up becoming ambassadors in their homes, schools and communities.
She indicated that malaria was predominantly high among some communities in the country, leading to absenteeism among students and even death in extreme cases.
The Oyarifa Circuit Supervisor, Mr Justice Baidoo, commended the pupils for participating in the competition and urged them to make good use of the knowledge acquired.
He also expressed gratitude to NMIMR for the initiative and hoped that it would help reduce malaria in the area.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU