Ghana Should Aim For Malaria Eradication, Health Minister Says
George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, Ghana's minister of health, recently said that the country should scale up the fight against malaria and dedicate resources to eradicate the disease, the Ghanaian Times reports. "We have to mobilize resources from all available sources, to accelerate interventions like indoor residual spraying, aerial spraying, larviciding, insecticide-treated net use as well as intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women," said Yankey at an event in Accra, Ghana, marking World Malaria Day (Tuffour, Ghanaian Times, 5/1).
Yankey called for the creation of a new program to eliminate malaria and said that existing timeline is "too long," Ghana Home Page reports. Hayford Siaw, executive director of Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA), welcomed the minister's remarks and his endorsement of aerial insecticide dispersal, indoor residual spraying and education campaigns. "If resources that would be going into the purchase of [insecticide-treated nets or ITNs] are channeled into tackling the disease on these fronts, Ghana should be able to declare itself as malaria-free zone within three years," Siaw said. He challenged the idea that ITNs are the principal way to eradicate malaria.
Kwaku Appau, a VPWA board member said, "The question Ghanaians and the donor communities should be asking themselves is why are there all these investments into malaria control and yet the death rate continues to rise? It is simple; expenditure is going into areas that do not stop the malaria vector from breeding so there is a continuous multiplication" (Ghana Home Page, 5/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.