The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have joined the rest of the world to mark the 2023 World Malaria Day under the theme: “Time to deliver zero malaria: Invest, Innovate and implement.”
World Malaria Day is a day set aside to emphasize the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment to malaria control and its prevention.
The Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu on Tuesday in Accra called for a multi-sectoral collaboration to eliminate malaria since it was impossible for the health sector solely to eliminate malaria.
“It is impossible to eliminate malaria without close collaboration and a strong partnership with sectors such as Agriculture; Local Government and Rural Development, Education, Works and Housing, the National Development Planning Commission, Immigration Service, Civic Education, CSOs, the private sector, training and research, religious and traditional leadership amongst others,” he reiterated.
He stated that, the government would continue to fund malaria interventions such as long-lasting insecticide net, (LLIN), indoor residual spraying, antimalarials for treatment, larval source management and policy formulation among others.
The Director General of GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye indicated that deaths due to malaria had decreased from 333 in 2019 to 151 in 2022.
He noted that Malaria prevalence had decreased from 14.1% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2022, testing rate had increased from 94% in 2019 to 98% in 2022. The proportion of admission attributed to malaria decreased marginally from 21.3% in 2019 to 21.0% in 2022, Proportion of confirmed OPD malaria cases decreased from 21.5% in 2019 to 19.4% in 2022 and Proportion of pregnant women who had taken at least three doses of Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine for prevention of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) had increased from 48.2% in 2019 to 60.1% in 2022.
He called on the media and private sector organizations to support the country to spearhead a domestic resource mobilization to fund malaria activities towards elimination.
He also called for further innovations particularly in vector control, social behavior change and case management to better tackle the vector and drive the uptake of interventions for malaria elimination in Ghana.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said this was a key step towards sustainable investment and ownership of malaria in Ghana.
The WHO Country Representative, Dr. Francis Kasolo, commended Ghana for being part of the first countries to approve the RTS, S malaria vaccine to fight and completely eradicate malaria in the country.
“WHO will continue to collaborate with researchers, innovators and other relevant partners to identify and evaluate new anti-malaria tools and products to support malaria elimination globally,” he added.
The Chairman for the programme, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II of Sehwi Traditional Area revealed that, this year’s commemoration was to serve as an advocacy platform to intensify and solicit more commitment from partners towards malaria control and prevention.
Priscilla Osei-Wusu Nimako, ISD