Ghana’s prevalence of malaria is on the decline and it’s believed that the distribution of long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets are behind the decrease.
Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, Communications Officer of the National Malaria Control Programme of the Ministry of Health, reported that deaths among children under five decreased slightly, from 1,539 in 2011 to 1,129 in 2012. Deaths among pregnant women dropped from 918 in 2011 to 476 in 2012. Additionally, in-patient death cases at hospitals decreased from 3,259 in 2011 to 2,815 in 2012. Mr. Gakpey believes that the mosquito nets are responsible for the majority of the decline of malaria deaths and that the country would have seen an even greater decrease if not for the tendency of malaria to be over diagnosed.
In 2012 Ghana began a countrywide campaign to reach universal coverage of two people per mosquito net, a campaign that reached 24 million people in Ghana. In 2008 only 38% of households in the Ashanti, Central, and Upper West Regions owned mosquito nets but in 2012 that number increased to 86%. Mr Gakpey said that the Ministry of Health will make sure that this progress is sustained and that antenatal and child welfare clinics as well as schools will be targeted sites for distribution of the longer-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets this year.
This decrease in malaria deaths in Ghana comes right on the cusp of International Malaria Month, which is during the month of April, with World Malaria Day on April 25.
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