Politics

Akufo-Addo fights malaria

President Akufo-Addo has indicated that the effective execution of the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Control and the introduction of other innovative strategies put Ghana in a position to win the fight against malaria.

Speaking at the Malaria Summit London 2018 held on the sidelines of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, President Akufo-Addo stated that the fight against malaria in Ghana is an age-old one.

“According to the Ghana Health Service, malaria tops out-patient department (OPD) cases and is responsible for the death of three children every day in the country. Indeed, in 2016, 10.4 million cases of malaria were recorded in a population of some 30 million people,” he said.

The president continued, “Although the figure from 2016 represents an improvement over that of 2015, we recognise that a lot of work has to be done in reducing prevalence of malaria to the barest minimum.”

Reiterating the solid, decade-long work and advocacy undertaken by Ghana’s First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo through her Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, the president stated that this has reinforced his conviction that Ghana’s aim of reducing malaria morbidity and mortality by 75 percent by the year 2020 is attainable.

Ghana’s goal, through the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Control, he said, is to achieve and sustain near-zero malaria deaths and ultimately a malaria-free Ghana.

Key interventions of this plan, the president outlined, include integrated vector management, malaria case management, including malaria in pregnancy, integrated community case management, seasonal malaria chemoprevention, integrated support systems, including advocacy and behavioural change communication, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation and the strengthening of health systems.

“Additionally, government is providing tax exemptions on anti-malarial commodities, adopting measures to deal with anti-malarial drug resistance and implementing policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental degradation that impact on malaria transmission,” he added.

Ghana’s strategy, the president told the gathering, is based on innovation, as Ghana is one of the first countries to adopt the new generation of insecticides for indoor-residual spraying, as well as being one of the three countries testing the new malaria vaccine.

“I am confident that the effective execution of this Plan and strategy would mean that Ghana stands ready to beat malaria” he concluded.

The president was accompanied by First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Ghana High Commissioner to UK; Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General of Ghana Health Service; Prof Alex Dodoo, Director General of Ghana Standards Authority; Dr Da Costa Aboagye, lecturer in Health at West London University, and Anthony Ameka, Chief Executive of Chamber of Pharmacy.

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