Ghana is ready to beat malaria – Akufo-Addo assures

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the effective execution of the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Control, as well as the introduction of other innovative strategies means “Ghana stands ready to beat malaria.” Speaking at the Malaria Summit London 2018, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 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 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. He added “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 decade-long work and advocacy undertaken his wife, 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%, 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 said, 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 antimalarial drug resistance, and implementing policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, that impact on malaria transmission,” he added. He told the gather that Ghana’s strategy 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 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 the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo Addo; Papa Owusu Ankomah, the High Commissioner to UK; Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the 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 Mr Anthony Ameka, Chief Executive of Chamber of Pharmacy.

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