Let’s collaborate to eliminate malaria

Facebook
Twitter

Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, Director of Public Health, Ghana Health Service, (GHS) says collaboration of stakeholders is the 'tool' to eliminate malaria in the country. 'We can leverage each other's strengths and overcome challenges to deliver impactful and sustainable healthcare solutions by working together,' he said. Dr Asiedu-Bekoe said this at the inauguration of the Task Force for Strengthening Civil Society Organisation (CSO)/ Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Capacity in Malaria Elimination in Ghana by the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), on Friday, July 5, 2023 in Accra. The taskforce is expected to, among others, strengthen partnership between NMEP and CSOs to enhance coordination in malaria elimination efforts, increase involvement of CSOs in the development and execution of national strategic plans for malaria elimination. Dr Adiedu-Bekoe said the GHS recognised the critical role that CSOs and NGOs played in achieving public health goals, ad ding that through the NMEP, many NGOs had been engaged to support community-level sensitisation activities to increase awareness, improve knowledge, and change behaviour to increase the uptake of interventions. He said about 50 NGOs were working in specified districts in collaboration with the District Health Management teams to undertake that task. The Director said the inauguration of the task force came at a critical juncture since the country had recently launched its ambitious Elimination Strategic Plan, outlining a roadmap for achieving a malaria-free nation. He said the task force represented a significant step forward and urged them to strengthen community engagement and education, connect with communities, raise awareness and promote behaviour change critical for malaria prevention. 'Your voices can influence policy decisions and secure the resources needed to implement effective malaria elimination strategies… We will look to you to complement government efforts, the GHS cannot achieve its goals alone,' the Director said. Dr Asiedu-Bekoe encouraged the task force to develop innovative initiatives to build a stronger force of CSOs and NGOs that addressed the challenges of malaria in the communities and the nation in the phase of limited resource. He said the country had recorded incredible progress in improving malaria in saving lives and reducing the burden of malaria. The Director said malaria testing rate had improved from 38 per cent in 2012 to 98 per cent in 2023, malaria prevalence decreased from 27.5 per cent in 2011 to 8.6 per cent in 2022. He said deaths due to malaria had drastically reduced from 2,799 in 2012 to 146 in 2023. 'This consistent reduction in morbidity and mortality assures us of the effectiveness of our interventions and the hope of elimination with improved and sustained efforts.' Dr Keziah Malm, Programme Manager, NMEP, said it was important that identified groups of CSOs and NGOs well informed and knowledgeable about the issues of malaria were tasked to be their mouthp iece regarding malaria issues. 'When the goods were stuck at the port, we did not get any NGO/CSO group from the malaria end speaking for us,' she lamented. Dr Malm urged the taskforce to be focused and ensure that the desired aim of the Programme was achieved. Madam Cecilia Senoo, Executive Director, HFFG, said in the Sub-Saharan region, malaria killed many people especially women and children under five years. She said there was the need for increased support to eliminate malaria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 'If we have a malaria free nation, we will all sleep without any problem and our children will not be dying,' Madam Senoo added. Source: Ghana News Agency

Recent Posts

Recent Posts