Efforts by the Asante Akim South District Assembly and the District Health Directorate to combat malaria has received a major boost following the introduction of a malaria advocacy promotion programme.
The programme is aimed at increasing the knowledge of the leadership of the district on the need to support and promote malaria control programmes, and demonstrate their commitment to spearhead such activities towards the achievement of a malaria-free district.
It would further assess and review malaria control interventions being implemented in the district and also create the environment for the implementation of an aggressive malaria control programme in the district.
The programme which is being implemented by the John Hopkins University Center for Communication Programmes (JHU\CCP) in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) would focus on identifying key challenges to effective prevention and treatment of malaria in the district.
Emmanuel Fiagbey, County Director of JHU\CCP made this known at a day's workshop organized for stakeholders to brainstorm on the effective implementation of the programme at Juaso during the weekend.
The workshop was attended by representatives from the District Assembly, Ghana Education Service (GES), District Health Administration, chemical sellers, Community Based Organizations (CBO) and civil society groups.
A 25-member District Malaria Advocacy Team (DMAT) made up of selected individuals from recognized and relevant institutions was formed at the end of the workshop.
The DMAT was tasked to promote effective programming for malaria control as well as mobilize support from all levels of leadership in the district in the implementation of policies and strategies aimed at making the district malaria-free.
Fiagbey, speaking on the overview of malaria control in Ghana said about 2832 deaths due to malaria was recorded in public health facilities in 2006 at an average of eight per day.
He said an estimated 20,000 children under five years died from malaria annually, a situation he noted called for pragmatic measures to stem the menace.