Accra, April 21, GNA – The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), in collaboration with other stakeholders would be concentrating efforts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, which have high transmission of malaria.
The move is aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of the disease.
The programme is part of the new strategic plan (2014-2018) aims at achieving and sustaining near-zero malaria deaths and a malaria-free Ghana.
Mr James Frimpong, Programme officer of NMCP, who spoke on Malaria Control, Achieving the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), to mark the World Malaria Day said the plan would be on the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC)
The SMC, which would replace the former intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in children, would use full treatment courses such as Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) and Amodiaquine.
He said the new programme would provide protection against clinical illness throughout the period of greatest malarial risk as a result of seasonality and rainfall patterns in the target areas.
The transmission intensity of malaria in that part of the country is very high and the new programme has very potential mechanisms to provide maximum protection and minimise the selection of drug resistance.
The new SMC would be given to children from three to 59 months in areas noted for high transmission for three days each month for three months.
Mr Apenteng observed that malaria could be eliminated if resources are pulled together to ensure its sustainability and called for the engagement of all sectors to defeat the disease.
Dr Constance Bart-Plange National Programme Manager of NMCP said deaths due to malaria among pregnant women and children have reduced drastically as a result of the adoption of a multi-pronged strategy.
She explained that deaths among pregnant women have reduced from 80 in 2000 to 13 in 2013 whilst deaths in children have also reduced from 150 in 2000 to six in 2013 with admission cases rising from 35 per cent in 2000 to 39 per cent in 2012.
This she said was because more sick people visiting hospitals were not testing for malaria and called on all to envisage to test for malaria when ill.
Dr Gloria Quansah-Asare Deputy Director-General of Ghana Health Service, who acknowledged the successes chalked out in the area of malaria control observed that, active public education to create awareness on public health issues; compliance and adherence to the treatment of malaria, as well as environmental management were some of the measures that had led to the reduction of death among pregnant women and children through malaria.
Dr Quansah-Asare said the World Malaria Day, which will fall on April 25, would be an opportunity for Ghanaians to learn more about the devastating consequences of the disease and also learn from each other’s experiences.
World Malaria Day would be on the theme Invest in the future: Defeat Malaria.
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