Ghana calls for effective strategies to eradicate malaria in Africa
Participants at a day’s workshop organised by African Media and Malaria Network (AMMREN) called for effective preventive and pragmatic strategies to eradicate malaria especially in pregnant women and children in Africa.
In a 10-point communiqué issued at the end of the workshop in Accra on Wednesday, the participants drawn from the media, civil society groups and academia said: “Attention needs to be focused on prevention of malaria as the best strategy to control the killer of over 600,000 people in Africa.”
The workshop was jointly organised by AMMREN and INDEPTH Effectiveness and Safety Studies of Anti-Malarials in Africa.
The communiqué urged journalists to continue to work in collaboration with researchers and scientists to tell the malaria story and the progress made to eradicate the killer disease, in addition to emphasising on the proper use of existing tools to keep people on track in the fight against the disease.
“It is refreshing to know that Ghana is achieving the universal coverage of bed nets because prevention is the best approach to control malaria,” it said.
The communiqué observed that great strides had been made to control and eradicate malaria worldwide, stressing that 43 countries had reduced malaria burden by 50 per cent or more in the past 10 years.
It attributed the gains made to sustained efforts by National Malaria Control Programmes, non-government organisations and the Global Funds initiative to provide affordable drugs.
The communiqué pledged that, more than 60 per cent children under five years and women would sleep in Insecticide-Treated bed Nets, to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality by half and manage childhood fevers using Integrated Management of Childhood illness by 25 per cent.
It said participants had embraced the initiative of Indepth Network Effectiveness Study’s Phase IV study, which aimed at providing information about malaria drugs in the real world and help Africans make the right decisions about the first-line treatment for malaria.
The communiqué said “As journalists we are concerned about reports of increasing resistance of malaria parasites to the World Health Organisation-recommended malaria treatment. This presents a clear and present danger to endemic African countries in the long run”.**GNA