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World Malaria Day today: We can end malaria in Ghana

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World Malaria Day today: We can end malaria in Ghana

World Malaria Day falls today, April 25, 2021. The theme for this year is: Zero Malaria – Draw the Line against Malaria. This is the right time to draw the line against malaria by taking action to end the disease at this time when COVID-19 has made the fight harder.

On this day, let’s highlight and appreciate the efforts that have been made over the years to control malaria and celebrate the gains so far.

In Ghana, data suggests that the proportion of deaths attributed to malaria per 100,000 population has decreased from 10.8/100,000 in 2012 to 1.1/100,000 in 2019.

As malaria continues to cause needless deaths, COVID-19 has complicated the fight to end malaria. A new report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria shows that in 2020, COVID-19 massively disrupted health systems and health service delivery for malaria in low- and middle-income countries in Africa. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions related to the response caused disruptions to essential malaria services.

Critically, malaria programmes must be integrated with broader efforts to build stronger systems for health, which are anchored on established community health systems. Further, ending endemic diseases such as malaria will contribute to strengthening fragile health systems and beating pandemics like COVID-19 because ending malaria will reduce the burden on health systems and increase capacity to detect, prevent, and respond to pandemics.

Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, malaria elimination remains a viable goal that will contribute to achieving universal healthcare coverage so that everybody has access to efficient, effective and affordable healthcare wherever they are and whenever they need it.

Malaria elimination is possible. Zero malaria is within reach.

NOTE

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives. According to the World Health Organization’s world malaria report 2020, 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been averted since 2000. This is a huge success resulting from concerted efforts by Governments, donors, and multilateral institutions such as the Global Fund partnership, which provides 56% of all international financing for malaria, and has invested more than US$13.5 billion in malaria control programs since the year 2002.

 

Health

Open Defecation Is a Health Hazard – Lecturer

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Open Defecation Is a Health Hazard – Lecture

Engineer Mrs. Asantewaa Tanor, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering, Ho Technical University (HTU), Friday noted that open defecation was not only a health hazard, but also made women and girls vulnerable to attacks and assaults.

She therefore urged individuals, churches, organizations and communities to treat the provision of toilets as their topmost priority.

Madam Tanor who was speaking at a ceremony to mark World Toilet Day celebration at Adaklu Kodzobi in the Adaklu District, noted that provision of toilets in schools also helped keep girls in school during their menstruation.

The Day, which was organised by the Civil Engineering Department of HTU was on the theme “valuing toilets”.

The world toilet day was said to be the initiative of a certain Jack Sim from Singapore who founded the World Toilet Organization, an NGO in the year 2001.

The United Nations General Assembly in its 67th session on July 24, 2013 passed a resolution by which it designated November 19 every year as World Toilet Day.

One hundred and twenty-two member states adopted the resolution.

Madam Tanor said the Day was aimed to create and spread awareness about ideal sanitary practices that promote the health, hygiene and safety of all, especially women.

She hinted that about 3.6 billion people in the world were currently without safely managed sanitation and toilets.

She described the situation as worrying, adding “we must therefore not brush aside the issue of toilets and keep it in the dark.”

Madam Tanor urged those who had toilets in their homes, work places and communities to keep them clean and hygienic always.

Togbe Dzegblade IV, chief of the community, was grateful to the Department for selecting his community among the lot, to celebrate the Day.

He expressed the hope that the bond between the community and the University would be strengthened.
Togbe Dzegblade said the community had a 20-seater functional water closet toilet and urged the people to patronise and always kept

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GHS revises age of recipients of Pfizer vaccine to 15 years

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GHS revises age of recipients of Pfizer vaccine to 15 year

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Service (GHS), says the Food and Drugs Authority has revised the age of recipients qualified to receive the Pfizer vaccine to 15 years.

He said the revision of the ages from 18 and above to 15 years would help adolescents to be vaccinated to reduce school outbreaks of COVID-19, especially for Senior High School students and reduce the transmission of the disease to adults at home.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said this at the CHPS Database Dissemination Forum organised as part of efforts aimed at strengthening Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) implementation under its Technical Cooperation Project, ‘CHPS for Life Project’ to accelerate the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

He said the country originally registered the ages of 18 and above as qualified recipients of the Pfizer vaccines, whereas the United States of America registered Pfizer for 12 years and above.

The Director-General said the adolescents were the most active group in the society and as expected, they would be moving about more during the upcoming festive season and since COVID-19 was about the movement it was important to get them vaccinated.

He said it would also help the country have proper herd immunity when they were added to the total population of those to be vaccinated.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye stated that they were engaging major stakeholders, including the Ghana Education Service on the modalities on how the vaccination of the adolescents would be carried out.

‘‘We have the consent issues like the adults’ but this is a risk for all of us and I believe that this something we can all get above and be able to vaccinate as many people to protect us all,’’ he said.

He said adolescents who were out of school and within the age group would also be vaccinated.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said there were some Pfizer vaccines in the country and they were expecting more Pfizer from Covax and other places as well.

 

GNA

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GHS lauds Zipline for facilitating child Immunization in Ghana

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GHS lauds Zipline for facilitating child Immunization in Ghana

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has commended Zipline Ghana Limited, a medical drone delivery company, for its industrial revolution in facilitating the immunization of dozens in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal of the Western North Region and other parts of the country.

The GHS said the previous challenges that delayed the transport of medications, unavailability of storage systems for vaccines, and administrative bottlenecks would no longer pose a threat to healthcare delivery in the Municipality after Zipline’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) made delivery of several components of vaccines in record time.

The government of Ghana in April 2019, signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zipline Ghana Limited for the transportation of medical supplies to hard-to-reach communities due to inaccessible roads.

The partnership has since expanded the tentacle of the Company to include distribution of Covid-19 samples for testing and child immunization vaccines delivery nationwide.

In an interaction with the media, Mr Clement Baffour, the Municipal Focal Person for Immunization for the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal, said the involvement of Zipline in the supply chain process of the GHS represented a “game-changer” in the health delivery apparatus.

He added that since the involvement of Zipline, the challenges of delivering vaccines had become a thing of the past.

Mr Baffour expressed the gratitude of the beneficiary communities and called for more support for the company to help reduce the high mortality rate by facilitating emergency delivery of medication to patients.

“I think Zipline has brought a lot of relief to the communities and this directorate in the discharge of its work, for which reason they must be commended for their innovation. Previously, we had to travel to Takoradi to take delivery of vital medications for lack of storage facilities.

“But having witnessed the innovation of Zipline’s drones, it is safe to say that we are out of the woods.

“We will continue to share in the benefit of their work and pray for them to succeed”, Mr Baffour said.

Mr Oheneba Municipal Director of Health Service Opoku-Darko, for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal, spoke fondly of how the company had substantially reduced the defaulter rate in the administration of child immunization vaccines in the municipality.

He said that before the intervention of Zipline, whenever the quantum of vaccines delivered for service provision got finished, there was no backup available and, therefore, most patients often missed the opportunity to take their vaccines at the required time.

“This is now a thing of the past. A parent cannot miss this immunization any longer on the basis of non-availability of the vaccines as Zipline is just a call or text away and they deliver just-in-time to make our work much easier”.

He commended government for the partnership with the company, which had ensured every citizen, irrespective of proximity, has equal access to healthcare delivery in the Country.

GNA

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