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Restore Assemblies 1% Contribution To Malaria Initiatives   
 
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17-Sep-2009  
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Participants at a malaria advocacy forum at Apam in the Gomoa West District have appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to restore the one per cent contribution from the District Assemblies Common fund for malaria control initiatives in the districts.

The participants held that since the contribution was reduced from one per cent to 0.5 per cent last year, no meaningful malaria control activity had taken place in the districts due to the lack of funds.

They argued that Ghana could be in a better position to get donor funding for the fight of the disease if the nation showed commitment in its effort to eradicate or reduce its prevalence.

They therefore saw the reduction in the Assemblies contribution as a disincentive to the country’s commitment to the fight against of the number one killer disease.

The forum was organized by the Voices for Malaria-Free Future of the John Hopkins University Centre for Communications Programme (JHU-CC) a non-governmental organization (NGO).

District Health Management Teams (DHMT), representatives of NGOs, Chiefs, Queen mothers, Health Institutions, and Heads of Department, among others attended the forum which aimed at empowering participants with advocacy skills.

The participants also called on the government to set up a factory to produce insecticide treated bed nets for sale to the public to protect them from mosquito bites.

They pointed out that regular shortage of the nets which had proved to be an essential instrument in the fight against malaria was thwarting the efforts to make the country malaria-free.

Mr. Emmanuel Fiagbey, Country Director of JHU-CC, stressed the need for Ghanaians to find alternative sources of funding malaria programmes as the country could no longer rely mainly on the Global Fund, a principal donor for the fight against the disease. “The worldwide economic crunch has affected the inflow of funds from donor partners”, he explained.

Mr. Fiagbey pointed out that Ghana might not be able to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) Roll Back Malaria (RBM) strategy launched in 1998 to reduce malaria by 50 per cent by 2010.

“With less than four months to enter 2010, the indicators show that we are nowhere near the target,” he said, and urged Ghanaians to intensify the campaign against the disease through observing environmental cleanliness and avoiding mosquito bites.

Mr. Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah, District Chief Executive, said malaria presented a major challenge to sub-Saharan African countries, and called for a multi-sectoral approach to the fight against the disease which he described as a leading killer in those countries.

He charged chiefs and queenmothers to lead in the crusade against the disease in their communities.

Mr. Edmund Osei-Kwakye, District Disease Control Officer, stated that all health facilities in the district had acquired kits for testing cases of malaria and appealed to the people to go for laboratory tests anytime they had high temperature or cold, to enable the district to have accurate and reliable data on the disease.

Miss Victoria Tettey and Miss Vivian Abiwu, both Programme Officers of Voices of Malaria-Free Future facilitated.

Miss Tettey said workers lose about seven working days in a year as a result of malaria infection.

Miss Abiwu called on authorities not to regard advocacy as an anti-government activity.
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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