The Programme Manager, National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), Dr Keziah Malm, says although Ghana has made great achievements over the past years in its malaria mortality targets, infection rates remain high.
She said the disease continued to be of great public health importance to Ghana, saying: “We have interventions, which have proven to work, but it is not being implemented at optimum levels due to inadequate resources.”
Malaria elimination in Ghana is predicted to cost 961 million dollars between 2020 and 2029, and uptake of effective interventions was estimated to prevent 85.5 million cases, save 4,468 lives, and avert 2.2 billion dollars in health system expenditure.
She said Ghana was on track to making impact and move into elimination with effective collaboration of all stakeholders including public and private sectors, and personal commitments towards the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me, Let’s Draw the Line,” campaign because it affected everyone.
Dr Malm was addressing the 2021 World Malaria Day press briefing in Accra to highlight the status of the malaria control programme implementation and also give journalists opportunity to interact to gain better understanding of the strategies, activities and statistics of malaria control in the country.
She said malaria related deaths at all ages reduced by 2,799 in 2012 to 308 by the end of 2020, signifying a 89 per cent reduction, adding: “In 2012, there was a record of only eight people dying from malaria every day, but this reduced to one death per day in 2020.”
Again, under-five malaria case fatality rate reduced by 80 percent from 0.6 percent in 2012 to 0.12 per cent in 2020 and, notwithstanding the challenges encountered, some gains were made in reducing admissions related to malaria for all ages by 28 percent from 428,000 in 2012, to 308,887 in 2020, she said.
Unfortunately, there had not been much improvements in terms of malaria cases, but then, testing for malaria cases increased from 38 percent in 2012 to 95 percent in 2020, which was a 152 per cent increase, she said.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, reiterated the call for strengthened partnerships by all stakeholders to embrace and support any strategy put in place to achieve targets.