A Ghanaian Times reporter, Benedicta Gyimaah Folley, was the recipient of an award at the maiden edition of the Ghana Malaria Excellence Awards for her contribution towards the fight against malaria.
Her story: Sharing space with mosquitoes; the woes of trotro mate, drivers and mechanics, won her the award in the newspaper category of the awardees.
Miss Folley received a laptop with an accompanying citation of her contribution towards the fight in eradicating malaria by 2030, a robust target set by Ghana.
Various media institutions including Daily Graphic, Ghana Television, Ghana News Agency and online news portals also had reporters receiving awards in their respective categories.
The Ghana Malaria Excellence Awards 2022,” was organised by the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) to recognise the role partners played towards the fight against malaria in the country.
Themed: “Engendering Stakeholders Participation towards a Zero Malaria Ghana,” and formed part of the year-long activities to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day celebration.
Africa Media and Malaria Research Network, and all the 16 regional health directorates were presented with citations while community health volunteers, who excelled in awareness creation, were also given citations and mobile phones.
The Excellence in Malaria Research honour went to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Dodowa Research Centre, Navrongo Research Centre, Kintampo Research Centre and University of Ghana School of Public Health.
The Legacy of Leadership Awards for pioneers for their excellence in programme management, leadership and in research innovation went to Dr Constance Bart-Plange, Mrs ABA Baffoe-Wilmot, Dr George Amofah, Professor Agyemang Badu-Akosa, and Professor David Ofori-Adjei.
The rest are: Professor Fred Newton Binka, Professor Col. Edwin A Afari (Rtd), Professor Kwadwo A Koram, and Professor Seth OwusuAdjei.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health, in a speech read on his behalf, congratulated the awardees for their efforts and contributions towards the ending the malaria pandemic.
“These awards do not commensurate with the work you have done over the years, both individually and as groups.
“However, they will serve as a memorial for your priceless efforts and spur us on to build the collaboration and support rendered to the NMCP, and its goals and objectives,”he said.
Mr Agyeman-Manu advocated continues support to the NMCP to carry out its mandate effectively to expand access to all interventions to reach everyone and intensify advocacy to raise the required resources to achieve the national malaria targets.
Nana KobinaNketsia V, the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, speaking at the event, commended government for the gains made so far but said more needed to be done in malaria elimination.
The Paramount Chief urged government to support meaningful engagement with partners at the global, regional, and national levels to leverage their unique capabilities, expertise and perspectives to continuously reach out to sectors beyond health to strengthen the collective response to end malaria.
Miss Gyimaah speaking with the Ghanaian Times after the programme express gratitude to the organisers for recognising her effort and promised to carry on the fight against malaria in her reportage.
She said the award would had been possible because of support and encouragement the Editor of the Ghanaian Times, Dave Agbenu and his entire editorial staff gave her.
BY NORMAN COOPER