President Akufo-Addo has indicated that the effective execution of the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Control and the introduction of other innovative strategies put Ghana in a position to win the fight against malaria.
Speaking at the Malaria Summit London 2018 held on the sidelines of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, President Akufo-Addo stated that the fight against malaria in Ghana is an age-old one.
“According to the Ghana Health Service, malaria tops out-patient department (OPD) cases and is responsible for the death of three children every day in the country. Indeed, in 2016, 10.4 million cases of malaria were recorded in a population of some 30 million people,” he said.
The president continued, “Although the figure from 2016 represents an improvement over that of 2015, we recognise that a lot of work has to be done in reducing prevalence of malaria to the barest minimum.”
Reiterating the solid, decade-long work and advocacy undertaken by Ghana’s First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo through her Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, the president stated that this has reinforced his conviction that Ghana’s aim of reducing malaria morbidity and mortality by 75 percent by the year 2020 is attainable.
Ghana’s goal, through the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Control, he said, is to achieve and sustain near-zero malaria deaths and ultimately a malaria-free Ghana.
Key interventions of this plan, the president outlined, include integrated vector management, malaria case management, including malaria in pregnancy, integrated community case management, seasonal malaria chemoprevention, integrated support systems, including advocacy and behavioural change communication, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation and the strengthening of health systems.
“Additionally, government is providing tax exemptions on anti-malarial commodities, adopting measures to deal with anti-malarial drug resistance and implementing policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental degradation that impact on malaria transmission,” he added.
Ghana’s strategy, the president told the gathering, is based on innovation, as Ghana is one of the first countries to adopt the new generation of insecticides for indoor-residual spraying, as well as being one of the three countries testing the new malaria vaccine.
“I am confident that the effective execution of this Plan and strategy would mean that Ghana stands ready to beat malaria” he concluded.
The president was accompanied by First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Ghana High Commissioner to UK; Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General of Ghana Health Service; Prof Alex Dodoo, Director General of Ghana Standards Authority; Dr Da Costa Aboagye, lecturer in Health at West London University, and Anthony Ameka, Chief Executive of Chamber of Pharmacy.
The Neo-natal Unit of the Wenchi Methodist Hospital in the Brong Ahafo region is under stress as it operates with only one incubator to cater for the increasing number of pre-term babies.
The Wenchi Methodist Hospital is a major referral Hospital in the Brong Ahafo Region attending to even patients from the Northern region.
Just like other facilities across the country the facility is in dire need and needs urgent support.
In 2015, the facility received 34 pre-term babies out of which 29 died.
Also in 2016, 103 pre-term cases were sent to the facility 15 of the babies died. In 2017 the unit attended to 85 cases out of which 5 died.
In the first quarter of 2018, 17 cases have been recorded with 2 deaths.
Dr. Solomon Chemogo the Head at the Neonatal Unit of the Wenchi Methodist Hospital in an interview said they were operating with only one baby incubator which he says is putting pressure on their work.
Dr. Chemogo revealed that his outfit also attends to preterm babies from the Northern region as well.
He disclosed that the Neo-natal Unit is making good use of the little equipment they have but it is not the best.
“We do a shift system to save some of these babies. When a baby is a little stable we bring the baby out and put another one in, which should not be the case but the incubator is only one.
“At times we refer the cases to other facilities but some mothers refuse to go and at the end of the day they lose their babies,” Dr. Chemogo revealed.
Read more: Babies dying as Wenchi Hospital operates with one incubator
Mr Jonathan Ane, the President of the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), has urged Ghanaian workers to take very good care of their health.
“We need to pay particular attention to our health, in order to make sure that we have a working life balance,” Mr Ane stated during a panel discussion at a breakfast meeting organised by the CGCC in Accra.
The CGCC Breakfast Event on Women in Business Networking, on the theme “Maintaining a Work-Life Balance,” was opened by Ms Heather Anne Cameron, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana.
The meeting brought together a large number of women who were into business and entrepreneurship, chief executive officers and captains of industries.
Mr Ane advised Ghanaians to take good care of their health; stating that “without health you cannot achieve anything and health is wealth.”
He said: “So we need to make a conscious effort to consider how much attention we need to give to our health and that starts by you recognising that as a healthy person you can do a lot and as a healthy person you can discharge your responsibilities better.”
“There is no point having all the great ideas and you cannot execute them because you are sick or in the cemetery, like it is said the greatest and richest place to be in the world is in the cemetery, because there lies people with great ideas but they never got executed.”
Considering the fact that women play very pivotal roles in the nation’s socioeconomic development, Mr Ane called for their empowerment.
“I think we need to be very passionate as men and also as a society to see how best we can help rise up to the best of their abilities, that is to say that we should not just confine women to specific roles, we should be able to see how best we can help them manage their economic life and family life and still be great achievers,” he said.
Read more: CGCC urges Ghanaians to take good care of their health
Health experts have discovered high levels of stigmatization against HIV patients by medical staff at the various health institutions in Ashanti Region.
Emergency and Out-Patient Department attendants also suffer similar retreatment.
The revelation contradicts public education by health workers to relatives of HIV patients to show them love.
The survey was carried out on 268 HIV patients in five hospitals.
They include Obuasi Government, Edwin Cade Memorial, Bekwai Municipal, Suntreso and Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals.
Local NGO, Hope for Future Generation, which undertook the initiative sought to ascertain challenges of people living with HIV in the region.
Suntreso Government and Komfo Anokye Hospitals were ranked first and second most friendly respectively, with Obuasi Government Hospital as the last.
The findings again indicate patients wish they were injected rather than given oral medication.
Daniel Ampong who is Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Hope for Future disclosed, the findings indicate health personnel extort money from patients.
A Nursing officer at Komfo Anokye Hospital, Agnes Owusu Bempah, proposed free or reduced cost of laboratory charges for patients.
Read more: Stigmatization of HIV patients by medical staff increase in Ashanti Region
Neuroscientists at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) are calling on women to stop pressing the heads of newborn babies in order to change the shape of the heads of such babies.
According to the scientists, such practices affect the functioning of the brains of the children and might affect their thinking capabilities when they grow up.
The neuroscientists were speaking at the brain awareness week at the University of Cape Coast.
The human skull, a bony structure forms the head of the human skeleton, supports the structures of the face and forms a cavity for the brain. The brain is contained in, and protected by, the skull bones of the head.
In Ghana and elsewhere, many nursing mothers after the birth of the children, reject the shapes of the heads of their babies and decide to alter such heads to suit them.
But the practice, according to Neuroscientists at the University of Cape Coast is wrong and poses a danger to the brain of the infants. They posit that the continuous pressing of the fragile heads of newborn babies to change the shape of their heads has grave consequences for the brains of the children.
At the ongoing Brain Awareness Week in Cape Coast, Dr Francis Djangmah with the school of physiology called for an end to such practice. He says the practice places enormous limitations on the brain of the children.
Read more: Pressing babies’ heads to obtain 'better' shapes damages brain - Neuroscientists