First Lady Pushes For Zero Malaria

First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Ad do delivering her address during the 2019 World Malaria Day

The First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has charged stakeholders to prioritize and ensure judicious use of resources to achieve zero malaria case in Ghana.

She said, “It’s possible to achieve zero malaria. Globally, more countries are moving towards zero indigenous cases.”

Mrs. Akufo-Addo stated that in 2017, more countries reported fewer than 10, 000 malaria cases, as compared to 2016 and 2010.

This number of countries with less than 100 indigenous cases she indicated, increased from 15 countries in 2010 to 24 countries in 2016 and 26 countries in 2017.”

“We can also do it if we all work together and follow guidelines established by the WHO and our national strategy,” she emphasized.

The First Lady made this known at the launch of the 2019 World Malaria Day at the Somanya–Akutunya Lorry Station in the Yilo Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region under the theme: “Zero Malaria Starts With Me.”

She said, “Malaria is a preventable disease, and we have evidence of proven tools that can change our story. What is needed is renewed and vigorous commitment to the fight against it.”

She, however, expressed concern that Ghana had been listed among 10 African countries with high burden of malaria in the world.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo disclosed that despite the great interventions being undertaken in the country “people still die from malaria and the disease continues to be the number one cause of out-patient attendance in our health facilities”.

She thus highlighted government’s efforts which included the pledge by President Akufo-Addo to champion innovation to reduce the malaria burden in July 2018, at the African Union Summit.

“Since that pledge, I am aware the Ministry of Health, together with our partners, has intensified efforts in the fight against malaria. The country has scaled up existing interventions, and is on track to pilot the malaria vaccine,” she indicated.

 “It’s of great pride to me to have met the target for reduction of the mortality indicator as promised by the President,” she stressed.

Describing the theme, she said it requires all of us to take advantage of the existing interventions for control of malaria in the country.

The First Lady, in collaboration with the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, has worked hard over the past 14 years to reduce malaria, especially in children and mothers in Ghana.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri