Mobilise internal resources to eliminate malaria
World Health Organisation (WHO) member states, during the World Health Assembly of 2007, adopted April 25 to celebrate it as World Malaria Day to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.
As the purpose of the day has it, the political establishment must take active part in this special celebration in order to give account of what the government is doing in the fight for malaria elimination.
Yesterday, an event was organised in Accra to mark the country’s version of the international celebration for this year and the government was represented at it by the Chief of Staff, Mrs Frema Akosua Osei Opare.
In a speech, she hammered home continued investment and transformative innovations as being critical to malaria elimination in Ghana.
According to her, the innovations are required to mobilise resources domestically and internationally to augment existing resource streams, including donor contributions, and thus close the national funding gap.
We must say it is sad that Ghana is always waiting for one form of support or another without which it cannot solve its problems.
If it continue like this in all aspects of its life, it cannot see real national progress.
Everyone knows how important the health of people is to the production of goods and services in every economy, Ghana’s not being an exception.
Therefore, if nothing at all, the country must prioritise the good health of the people in terms of disease prevention, treatment or management and elimination mostly with internally-generated funds.
We know other developing countries seek financial help for everything and so it is not strange for Ghana to walk that path.
However, we think the country should depart from that path in relation to malaria elimination; it can seek technical assistance though.
Ghanaians claim everything that brings honour such as priding themselves on being “the gateway to Africa”.
Such claims have become trite; it is time for the political establishment, the managers of the country’s resources, to adopt prudent measures to chart paths to prove at least the “gateway to Africa”.
These managers always plead lack of resources to solve the country’s problems for the benefit of the people, yet they manage to siphon funds from the national purse in the name of their remunerations, allowances and ex-gratia, and even for corrupt purposes.
Malaria has afflicted humankind for as long as mosquitoes have been in existence and nations have been fighting it ever since they experienced its devastation.
Today, at least 38 countries in the world, including El Salvador, Argentina and Paraguay, have eliminated malaria and become concrete examples.
It is said of El Salvador, for instance, which had its WHO malaria-free certification in 2017, that it worked hard for 50 consecutive years to wipe out malaria and the human suffering that it generates.
For how long has Ghana fought malaria and still waiting for external assistance to eliminate it?
The government should put in more effort to fight malaria so that World Malaria Day next year, its representative at the event to celebrate the day would tell the nation a success story rather than that of begging for funds before it can make inroads into the fight for malaria elimination.