New malaria cases high in Ghana – WHO report

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A 2018 World Health Organisation (WHO) malaria report shows new malaria cases are high in Ghana yet progress to halt the trend has stalled.

The report, which highlights some considerable progress made in the past decade, named Ghana among 10 African countries where new cases of malaria are high.

Commenting on the report, the WHO representative in Ghana Dr. Owen Kaluwa underscored the need for Ghana to increase its domestic resource allocation to address high cases of malaria in the country.

“Ghana has a lot of support but I think we should be able to increase domestic resource allocation to address malaria so we can deal with all the pockets where we still are having high malaria,” he said.

He observed progress made in halting new malaria cases has not been encouraging.

“Not even that the numbers have stagnated but even the absolute number is too big for new malaria cases that we should be experiencing,” he noted.

In 2015 there were 217 million people with malaria, and the number increased to 219 in 2017.

Dr. Kaluwa

Though Dr. Kaluwa said WHO and its partners have adopted a global strategy that aims at reducing new malaria cases by 40 per cent by 2020, he said “We are not likely to reach that target”

He noted that if the target is not achieved, it will be unlikely to achieve it even by 2030. He therefore called for concerted effort to quickly halt the trend.

“I think that what we are seeing is we are not implementing the interventions enough on a large scale to make the difference,” the WHO rep observed.

He said the WHO and the Roll Back malaria partnership initiative dubbed higher impact for high burden countries have been launched.

That, he said, aims at galvanising global and political commitment to support the response to malaria as well as using strategic information to drive impact.

Dr. Kaluwa indicated Ghana has done well in reducing malaria deaths, saying Ghana has a strong and robust malaria control programme which has delivered good results but added more needs to be done.

He said with a strong programme and a lot of commitment from the ministry and other partners, Ghana can make gains in its fight against malaria.

By Esi Benewaa Otoo||Ghana

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