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World Malaria Day 2018

UNICEF in Ghana joins the National Malaria Programme and other partner organizations in promoting this year’s World Malaria Day theme “Ready to Beat Malaria.” This shows the collective energy and commitment in uniting to rid the country completely of malaria. 

Ghana has made remarkable progress in tackling one of the oldest diseases.The percentage of outpatient attendance in public health facilities decreased sharply from 48% to 28% from 2008 to 2016. 

However, despite progress made, malaria still remains one of the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in some parts of the country. 

The population worst affected are pregnant women and children under 5 years of age. This makes malaria a priority in the National Health Agenda and to tackle this issue, a strategy has been adopted for the fight against malaria. Interventions include prevention and control of malaria by increasing the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) by children and pregnant women as well as prompt and effective treatment through early recognition of symptoms and early and appropriate treatment.

UNICEF continues to support the National Malaria Control Programme with implementation of the Behaviour Change Communication strategy on the use of insecticide-treated  net. 

Ghana’s targets in line with global objectives  includes:

  • 100% of households own at least one insecticide-treated net by 2020

  • 80% of general population and 85% of under 5 children and pregnant women sleep under insecticide-treated nets by 2020

Progress made

UNICEF in collaboration with government and support from donors have had a consistent implementation of the “Keep it up” and “Nets up, Ye Hyem” - (Nets Up, we are inside) campaigns aimed at increasing the use of insecticide-treated nets across the country since 2012. The campaigns raised awareness, knowledge and increased demand for insecticide-treated nets. 

Some of the key activities that were rolled out included the involvement of the private sector in advocating for their workforce and their dependents to sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets. This has since been scaled up to other regions with support from both government and other development partners across the country.

Like most countries response to malaria in Ghana is at a crossroads. After an unprecedented period of success in malaria control, progress seems to be stalling. The current pace is insufficient to achieve the 2020 milestones of World Health Organisation's Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030 – specifically, targets calling for a 40% reduction in malaria cases and death rates.

Without urgent action, the major gains in the fight against malaria will be under serious threat. 

On this World Malaria Day, the National Malaria Control Programme, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation continue to call for greater investment and expanded coverage of proven tools that prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.

 

 

 
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