By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) has called on key stakeholders especially the media to lead the advocacy for eliminating malaria in the country.
Programmes Manager, NMCP, Dr. Keziah Malm, in addressing journalists during a training workshop in Accra, said the country had taken significant steps in controlling malaria and solicited their support to rein in the disease.
She touched on various intervention programmes including the distribution of Insecticide treated c (LLINs) throughout the country last year aimed at controlling the disease.
The 2-day workshop organised by NMCP in collaboration with African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) for selected journalists drawn from five regions of the country, aimed to update and sharpen the skills of journalists on malaria reporting.
The workshop themed, “Role of the Media in Promoting Malaria Elimination Agenda”, saw wonderful presentations on topics such as Malaria Control in Ghana, Preventive Interventions in Ghana, Malaria Case Management and Communication on Malaria.
World Health Organisation Representative, Dr Felicia Owusu-Antwi on the global situation of Malaria said, although some gains were made between 2010 and 2016, regarding malaria cases and deaths, progress stalled in 2017, thus, the need for concerted efforts for the needed impact.
Dr. Owusu-Antwi mentioned the 10+1 initiative aimed at accelerating reduction of malaria deaths and case incidence in top 10 countries in Africa (including Ghana) and India, and underscored the need for governments of these malaria endemic countries to commit to supporting the agenda.
Dr. Nana Yaw Peprah, NMCP, advised covering clean waters, drying out all stagnant waters around households as well as clearing all materials that may become breeding sites for malaria vector.
He among other things, urged people to sleep under treated mosquito nets at night as malaria-transmitting mosquitoes bite late at night.
Dr. Boakye-Yiadom Adomako, NMCP insisted that people should always visit the hospital any time they have symptoms suspected to be malaria.
According to Dr. Adomako, not all fevers are caused by malaria and so one must undergo testing to be sure they are suffering from malaria before treating themselves for the disease.
Meanwhile, Deputy Programmes Manager, NMCP, Mr. James Frimpong hinted of a phased implementation of malaria vaccine, RTS,S which is expected to be piloted in Central , Volta and Brong-Ahafo regions and some 4 selected districts in Upper East Region this year.
The vaccine would target babies aged six months to be given four doses within a specified duration to prevent malaria in children.
Executive Secretary of AMMREN, Dr. Charity Binka charged the media with the responsibility of informing and educating the citizenry on malaria to cause positive change in malaria prevention and control efforts, and holding policy makers accountable in the management of the disease.