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Ghana can eliminate malaria through behavioural change – Dr. Paul Boateng

June 25, 2024
Ghana can eliminate malaria through behavioural change - Dr. Paul Boateng

Dr. Paul Boateng, the Case Management Focal Person for the National Malaria Elimination Programme, says Ghana can eliminate malaria through behavioural change.  

Dr. Boateng noted that behavioural change and the adoption of a positive attitude against littering of the environment and breeding grounds for mosquitoes would go a long way in achieving a malaria-free Ghana. 

He said this when speaking at the celebration of World Malaria Day jointly by the Metro and the Tema West Health Providers Association. 

World Malaria Day was observed on the theme: “Health Equity: The Cornerstone for Achieving Malaria Elimination in Ghana.” 

He noted that just as was able to eliminate malaria irrespective of its huge population size, Ghana could draw inspiration from them and do the same, adding that the country was currently under control, bringing the burden down gradually, and then getting to the pre-elimination stage. 

“That will take quite a long time. So the decision among all the stakeholders—all the key stakeholders, from WHO to to other ministries—was that the country should be able to work to eliminate malaria as soon as possible,” he stated. 

Dr. Boateng indicated that based on that they had taken a number of steps, which include having a lot of stakeholder engagements, as elimination could be achieved as a health sector agenda alone but rather through a multi-sector approach.  

He disclosed that the country's approach was to work at eliminating malaria first in the areas where it is very low, learn lessons from those areas, and then work to eliminate it across the entire country. 

He said the goals of the strategic plan for elimination include eliminating malaria in the 21 districts in the Greater region by 2028 and reducing malaria deaths by 90 percent by 2028. 

The Focal Person for the National Malaria Elimination Programme further revealed that they were in the process of developing guidelines for the enhanced malaria death audit, explaining that it would help them treat every malaria death just like a maternal mortality case. 

Dr. Vitus Anab-Bisi, the president of the Tema Metro and Tema West Municipal Health Providers Association, said even though World Malaria Day was celebrated on April 25, there were certain aspects of malaria cases and diagnosis management that needed to be highlighted. 
  
Dr. Anab-Bisi, who is also the General Manager, Health Services at the (GPHA), said the programme helped the health providers look at the malaria data for Tema and others, malaria burden and diagnosis, and issues of testing and treatment. 

He added that it was obvious that even though the , Ghana Health Services, and other stakeholders were moving steadily towards the targeted elimination of malaria, more improvement was needed. 

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