The Akuapem North Municipality has recorded a total of 10,021 cases of malaria between January and October this year, topping the list of all diseases reported at the Out-Patients Department (OPD) of health facilities in the area.
The figure comprised 2,531 reported cases of under-five malaria and 156 cases of malaria in pregnancy, even though it indicates a slight decrease in the recorded cases of malaria in the previous year, malaria remained the number one cause of OPD attendance in the municipality.
This was made known at a stakeholders dialogue on the 0.5 District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) for malaria-related activities, under the People for Health Project being implemented by a consortium including Send Ghana, Pensplusbytes, and the Ghana News Agency, at Akropong.
Mr Paul Arthur, the municipal health information officer who shared the information mentioned non-compliance to the usage of the long-lasting insecticide nets and poor hygienic practices as some of the key factors leading to the malaria cases.
Mrs Harriet Nuamah, Senior Programs Officer at Send Ghana, said their findings had shown that the 0.5 DACF for malaria was not utilized because the district health directorates failed to claim the money's for malaria-related activities whiles the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) also overlooked its disbursement.
She noted that most of the health directorates were not even aware of the existence of such a facility to fund malaria education in communities and so those monies were channeled into other things at the expense of malaria which had the highest cases of OPD attendance in many health facilities across the country.
She, therefore, called for a strong collaboration between the MMDAs and the health directorates to ensure that the 0.5 DACF was released to enable the latter to undertake outreach malaria education and sensitization programs to reduce the impact of the malaria burden on socio-economic development.
Mrs Nuamah hinted that Send-Ghana was considering requesting the 0.5 DACf to be deducted at source from the common fund and paid directly into the accounts of the respective districts health directorates for efficient utilisation of the fund to achieve the intended purpose.
Also, she said there was an engagement at the national level to set up malaria committees at the district level with clear guidelines as part of the agenda to make malaria a priority in the healthcare delivery sector.