Health news from Tuesday April 13, 2021
Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District Health Directorate (AOB) has seen a huge drop in malaria cases in the district.
The district recorded 632 cases of malaria in 2020 compared to 913 and 943 cases in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
The number corresponds to a decrease of 281 malaria cases in the AOB district in 2020.
Mr Fredrick Amankwah, the District Health Information Officer, announced this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) as part of the National Media Malaria Campaign within the framework of the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) in Asikuma.
He added that the decline in cases was due to a number of interventions including: the introduction of rapid tests (RDTs) in the outpatient department (OPD) and consultation rooms in all health facilities in the district, including for diagnosis, treatment and larvicidation of malaria in communities.
They also pointed out that malaria vaccination was introduced as a contributing factor in select parts of the country from 2019 to the present day.
Other methods responsible for successfully reducing malaria cases in the district include: Educating the public about malaria prevention methods such as draining and spraying stagnant water to prevent mosquitoes from spreading in the district.
Mr Amankwaah expressed concern about the poor use of ITNs despite the numerous awareness and education sessions stressing that they used the nets to fence their gardens instead of sleeping in them and urged the public to use the ITNs, as one of the safest ways to prevent malaria is vaccination.
An observation of the GNA during a visit and interaction in some communities found that poor perception related to the ITNs had resulted in underutilization.
Ms. Abena Korkor, a farmer who spoke to the GNA, announced that a friend told her that there was a side effect after sleeping in the nets and that she did not use the nets at night.
“Esi told me not to use the nets because my eyes itchy after using them, so I don’t use the mosquito net,” she complained.
However, Kodwo Baffoe, a father of three, told GNA that he would prefer to use the nets to prevent malaria as their children kept getting sick. His challenge, however, was to hang them in the room as they involved the use of nails to hold the ends of the net.