Participants briskly walking to end malaria
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Saturday embarked on a health walk as part of the World Malaria Day 2017 celebration themed “A Walk to End Malaria for Good”.
The aim of the walk was to create the awareness on the need to end malaria as well as the need for all Ghanaians to continue in the fight against malaria.
Participants of the walk, including students from the School of Hygiene-Korle-Bu, Keep Fit Clubs, USAID, Ghana Education Service (GES) and others, displayed placards showing some practices and facts about malaria which educated people to live malaria-free lives.
Dr. Keziah Malm, Deputy Programs Manager, Malaria Control Program of the GHS said Ghanaians should actively join in the fight to end the spread of malaria in the country.
She urged people to complete the doze of their medication when they have malaria to prevent malaria from resurfacing after a short while.
“If unfortunately, you get malaria, the first choice of drug should be an ACT. If you don’t complete the doze, the malaria resurfaces in no time.”
She said although one may be tempted to discontinue the malaria medication because of the efficacy of the drugs, the complete doze must be taken to completely clear the body of the parasite.
“The drug is so effective that the first doze of it can make you feel better but you have to take every one of the doze so that you don’t develop severe malaria eventually,” she cautioned.
She said though malaria is a disease that can kill, it is preventable through basic measures like sleeping under a mosquito net.
“Malaria is a disease that can kill but thankfully we have the resources to be able to prevent people from getting malaria. Prevent malaria, sleep under treated mosquito nets, treat yourself with ACT and lets all end malaria,” she called.
Mrs. Constance Bart-Plange, Manager Malaria Control Program noted that the malaria awareness has advanced in recent times because formerly people attributed malaria to all sorts of things.
“I am saying that the awareness has gone down well because of change in people’s attitudes and practices,” she remarked.
“Currently, awareness has elevated to more than 85 to 90 percent where people know that malaria is gotten from being bitten by an infected anopheles mosquito” she added.
Mrs. Bart-Plange said when people have fever they automatically feel its malaria and they take the anti-malaria doze.
She noted that it is not only malaria that gives fever indicating that other diseases may present themselves in the same symptoms as malaria therefore people should get tested before they take the medicine.
“Endeavor to sleep under the treated nets to help end malaria for good” she said.
By: Abigail Owiredu-Boateng