Ghana marks World Malaria Day

Ghana yesterday joined countries the world over to celebrate World Malaria Day with the organisation of durbars at various towns to educate the people on efforts to eradicate the disease.

We bring to our readers events to mark the day as was captured by our correspondents.

From the Western Region, Clement Adzei Boye reports thatGold Fields Ghana (GFG) yesterday celebrated the day at Akoon in the Tarkwa Municipality to strengthen the advocacy on the disease.

The theme for the event which was ‘Zero malaria starts with me’ saw Gold Fields Ghana distribute 900 long lasting insecticide treated bed nets to the community members including pregnant women.

Speakers at the event spoke about a collective approach to tackle malaria which was one cause of mortality in Ghana, advocating that prevention was a key driver of the campaigns.

The Sustainable Development Manager of GFG, Mr Robert Siaw underscored the company’s readiness to mount various campaigns and also distribute mosquito nets because the fight against malaria was not yet over.

These efforts, he explained, were some best ways to prevent mosquito bites.

The Sustainable Development Manager observed that  environmental sanitation was still a challenge in most communities which were dotted with dirty drains behind houses, weedy compounds, haphazard disposal of used tyres and plastic containers and stagnant waters behind bathroom, stressing “we continue to build houses without any consideration for accessibility and fresh air circulation.”

Mr Siaw said “How can we spare our children, ourselves the agony and the helplessness we go through when we are down with malaria? The money we spend, the man-hours we lose, could also be saved to put money in our pockets. This is possible, but, would require you and I to say ‘Never again’ to malaria in our households.”

“For once, we must stop passing the buck to the next person, blame the lack of money or our poverty status and clearly define what ‘cleanliness’ means to us,” he added.

The Medical Director of Health Service at GFG, Dr Ishmael Sackey, noted that malaria scored 40 per cent of Out Patients Department (OPD) attendance, adding that children under five and pregnant women were mostly affected due to convulsions and preventable deaths.

“Zero malaria starts with you; let’s do our part. Preventive strategies including environmental hygiene and the use of mosquito nets could scale-up efforts to eradicate the disease,” he stated.

The Municipal Director of Health, Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Mr Emmanuel Affelkum, reported that malaria recorded 46, 568 cases in 2018 and said this was worrying for the municipality.

He, however, told the gathering that anaemia due to malaria was the fourth on cases reported, a situation which he again described as worrying.

Mr Affelkum added that the good news was that the directorate reported no deaths due to malaria.

The Gyaasehene of the Apinto Divisional Council, Nana Dr Adarkwa Bediako, believed that the attendance of the Akoon community was key to the partnership, and explained that the Gold Fields malaria programmes were organised for the people to gain good health and longevity.

The SOS Children’s Villages at Tema yesterday organised a cleanup exercise and health screening for residents of Glefe in the Ga West Municipality in Accra as part of activities to mark World Malaria Day reports Allia Noshie.

The exercise formed part of its community intervention programme dubbed; “Family Strengthening” aimed at supporting vulnerable children in communities who are at the risk of losing parental care.

The one day event was held on the theme; “Zero malaria starts with me”. As part of the exercise, the team educated residents on the need to keep a clean environment.

The Programmes Director at Tema, Miss Rosemond Boamah said the exercise was to educate and sensitise residents on the need to keep their environment clean.

She noted that to achieve Zero Malaria in the area there was the need to instil cleanliness as a lifestyle in the people.

Ms Boamah advised residents to use the treated mosquito net, stressing that “until pragmatic steps are taken Zero Malaria is not feasible.”

Additionally she said the SOS had secured five years funds from its development partners to improve the livelihood of 250 children in the community.

She explained that the initiative would also train parents on income generation ventures as well as create the awareness on child rights and abuse.

Dr Vanessa Atikpui of the West African Rescue Association which is affiliated with International SOS, advised the residents to start keeping their homes clean and avoid open defecation as such behaviour breeds mosquitoes.

The Assembly man of the area, Mr Emmanuel Boyor lauded the SOS and its development partners for the initiative and urged the residents to partake in activities to keep the town clean.

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