Ghana is poised to eliminate malaria through commitment and innovative strategies, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
Stating, though, that Ghana’s fight against malaria was an age-old one, he said the nation’s effective execution of a Strategic Plan for Malaria Control as well as the introduction of other innovative strategies, was an indication that “Ghana stands ready to beat malaria.”
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance on Wednesday at the Malaria Summit in London, being held on the side-lines of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
He pointed out that a lot of work had to be done to reduce the prevalence of malaria, referring to Ghana Health Service statistics that malaria, which topped Out Patient Department cases, resulted in the death of three children daily, with 10.4 million cases in 2016 out of the country’s almost 30 million population.
The President expressed optimism that Ghana’s aim of reducing malaria morbidity and mortality by 75 per cent by the year 2020 was attainable.
“This conviction is reinforced by the solid, decade-long work and advocacy undertaken by my fair lady, Rebecca, Ghana’s First Lady, through her Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation,” he said.
Ghana’s goal, through the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Control, he said, was to achieve and sustain near-zero malaria deaths, and, ultimately, a malaria-free Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo said aside the major interventions of the Plan and the strengthening of health systems, the Government was providing tax exemptions on anti-malarial commodities, adopting measures to deal with antimalarial drug resistance, and implementing policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, that impacted on malaria transmission.
He told the gathering that Ghana’s strategy was based on innovation, pointing to the ground-breaking adoption of the new generation of insecticides for indoor-residual spraying, and 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 said.