Upper East Region records zero malaria deaths in 2020— GHS

The Upper East Region did not record any death related to malaria throughout the year 2020, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has stated.
The GHS made this known during a stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Upper East Regional Health Directorate on this year’s Point Mass Distribution (PMD) which is an anti-malaria initiative that involves sharing of insecticide-treated bed nets to the masses.
“You can see that from 2016 there has been a consistent decline in the under-five malaria fatalities rate and if you look at 2020 in particular, the under-five malaria fatalities rate was zero. And if you compare Upper East Region with other regions, Upper East Region is one of the top performers when it comes to this particular indicator,” the Deputy Director of Public Health at the Upper East Regional Health Directorate, Dr. Josephat Nyuzaghl, told the media in an interview after the meeting.
He mentioned some reasons he said accounted for the gains made by the GHS in terms of malaria control. The reasons include implementation of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC), frequent training for health workers, and timely presentation of children by most mothers and caregivers for malaria treatment.
The Deputy Public Health Director added that about 275,967 households were to receive about 613,260 long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets in 12 districts in the region, excluding Builsa South, Builsa North, and Kassena-Nankana which are currently benefiting from the indoor residual spray.
Dr. Josephat also hinted that some 368 distribution points have been set up in about 80 sub-districts where the beneficiaries are to go and redeem their bed nets after registration of households had been carried out by 795 registration assistants. He also expressed worry about reported misuse of the insecticide-treated bed nets by some individuals who rather use bed nets to protect their farms against animals.
He, therefore, tasked the media to use their various media outlets to educate the public on the core use of the long-lasting insecticide bed nets.
In 2016, Ghana recorded 10.4 million suspected malaria cases at the Out-Patients Departments (OPD). This represented a 2.5% increase of cases reported during the same period in 2015. Out of the malaria-related deaths, 590 occurred among children under 5 years in 2016 as compared to 1,037 in 2015. However, in the Upper East Region malaria cases involving children under five years has improved tremendously, from 2016 to 2020.
Gaspard Ayuureneeya.

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