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Health News Mon, 3 Jul 2006

Malaria is major cause of child mortality

Mpraeso (E/R), July 3, GNA - Malaria continues to be the leading cause of mortality among children under five and also accounts for 26 percent death of all children in the country. It is also one of the most deadly diseases in the world, accounting for 40 percent of all Out Patients Department (OPD) cases in health facilities in the country.


The Kwahu South District Chief Executive, Nana Kofi Onwona-Asante, announced this when launching Malaria Awareness Week at Mpraeso. He regretted that large funds and logistics were being spent annually to sensitize and educate the public about the devastating effect of the disease, but all these efforts were not yielding positive results as malaria reported cases continue to increase due to people's negligence and attitude.


The DCE urged the people to keep their environments clean, adding that the District Health Administration was providing insecticide treated bed nets at affordable prices.


He also introduced artesunate amodiaquine drugs, which he said had is a replacement for chloroquine in the treatment of malaria. Nana Onwona-Asante advised the people to register for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), saying it was designed to make health delivery affordable to all, irrespective of ones' social or economic status.

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The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Susana Mensah, said targets set by African Heads of States, under the Roll-Back Malaria Programme in 2002 in Abuja, Nigeria, had been achieved by the country's health sector.


She said statistics showed improved reduction in the number of cases on admission and death due to malaria last year, as compared to 2004 and advised the people to use artesunate-amodiaquine drugs and treated bed nets because they were proving to be most effective tools in preventing and controlling malaria in the country. Speaking on the theme: "Get your acts together, universal access to act is a fundamental human rights", the District Director of Ghana Health Services, Dr Joseph Larbi Opare, described malaria as a dangerous disease and asked the people to always keep their environment clean by avoiding filth and stagnant waters that could offer breeding place for mosquitoes.


Dr Larbi Opare advised the people to report all malaria cases, especially among children and pregnant women, to the nearest health facilities for treatment.


He urged Assemblymen, chiefs and opinion leaders to organize regular clean-up exercises in the communities to keep their environment clean.

Source: GNA