Members of Parliament to push for more resources for malaria elimination
Members of the Malaria Caucus in Parliament have expressed confidence in the strategies to eliminate the disease in Ghana with a commitment to pushing for more resources for the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) to facilitate its work in taming the disease.
Date Created : 11/30/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Albert Futukpor/Ghanadistricts.com
This was after they visited Nakpanzoo in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region where they observed the actual implementation of the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC), where malaria drugs were being administered to children under five years.
They also visited the Savelugu Health Directorate to learn first-hand the operations of the health staff on malaria elimination.
They paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Yoo Traditional Area at Savelugu, as well as the Savelugu Municipal Chief Executive, where they shared strategies on environmental management to destroy breeding sites of mosquitoes.
Later they held discussions with the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, at the Regional Coordinating Council in Tamale on efforts being made to fight malaria.
Dr. Sebastian Sandaare, the Member of Parliament for Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, and Member of the Malaria Caucus in Parliament, told the Ghana News Agency that they were impressed at the work done so far to eliminate malaria in the country.
“The visit has given us the evidence from the field, which we can use in mobilising the resources for the NMEP bearing in mind that we have the goal of eliminating malaria,” he said.
“Inadequate financing is a major problem, and we all need to support the NMEP in mobilising resources to continue with this good intervention. It is one area we will look at. Fortunately, we are still in the budgeting process. It is something we will look at.”
Malaria is endemic in the country with the Northern Region being one of the regions with the highest burden of the disease.
Currently, all malaria elimination interventions, except for the malaria vaccine implementation (RTS'S), are implemented in the region resulting in a significant decline in mortality.
However, inadequate resources and delayed release of funds have been identified as some of the challenges in the fight against the disease.
Nana Ayew Afriyie, the Chairman, Members of the Malaria Caucus in Parliament, said: “We are clear in our minds that the trend of reduction of malaria at the out-patient department, the trend of reduction of malaria deaths for children under five years, is on course because of the hard work of the NMEP and all stakeholders.”
He said the resources for the SMC were coming from the Presidential Malaria Initiative of the United States Government and the Global Fund.
“There have been some delays in the release of funds for volunteers. We are hoping that money can come so they can continue to execute the great job they are doing for the country.”
Dr. Keziah Malm, the Programme Manager, NMEP, described the visit as very successful and said it afforded the Members of Parliament to advocate measures to prevent misuse of insecticide treated nets, and environmental management to reduce breeding sites of mosquitoes.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, the Northern Regional Minister, emphasised the need for residents to embrace environmental management and keep their surroundings clean so that mosquitoes would not get breeding spaces.