Home General News A/R –GHS begins registration for ITN Distribution as Malaria cases hit 900,000

A/R –GHS begins registration for ITN Distribution as Malaria cases hit 900,000

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The Ashanti Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is worried about the exponential increase in malaria cases in the Ashanti Region as it begins registration ahead of a mass distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets in the region.

In the year 2023 alone, the number of malaria cases recorded in Out Patient Departments in the region struck the 900,000 mark representing a hundred thousand increase over the 2022 figures of 800,000 recorded cases.

Addressing the media ahead of the registration exercise Ashanti Regional Director of Health, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, pointed out that aside the pressure on health facilities; the situation poses huge financial and economic burden for the country.

“It constitutes one of the most socio economic burdens in this region, in the country and in Africa. If you look at the figures in the Ashanti Region, you realize that it constitutes one of the major burdens in our OPD attendance.

He disclosed, “If you look at our insurance payments, you will realize that one of the major burdens is malaria. So any strategy to reduce malaria will save us a lot of money in this country.

“That is the reason why the nation has adopted the National Malaria Elimination Program to reduce both morbidity and mortality associated with malaria especially in children under five and in pregnant women,” he emphasized.

The Health Director noted that the registration which begins on June 7th and ends on June 11, will register households in 41 districts of the Ashanti Region excluding Obuasi and Obuasi East where a special indoors residual spraying exercise against malaria is underway.

Dr Tenkorang indicated that the service expects the public to corporate and desist from using the nets for purposes other than protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

“It is unfortunate that sometimes we see the mosquito nets being used for other unapproved purposes including as fences for gardens and as covers to cart refuse.

He warned, “This program is being sponsored by partners and it becomes an indictment on the country. They will think we are not very serious about what we are doing.”

Dr Tinkorang however proposed the need for a legislation or policy direction that could be enforceable to bring such persons who use the nets inappropriately to book.

The point mass distribution exercise which forms part of Ghana’s National Malaria Elimination Program is aimed at reducing the transmission of malaria by ensuring that a mass of the population is protected from mosquito bites.

It is also aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality associated with malaria as well as the high cost burden of treating malaria in Ghana.

The health service further aims at making impact on productivity and socio-economic development while it works at hitting its malaria elimination targets among the population.

By: Ivan Heathcote – Fumador

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