News / Africa

Ghana Tries New Techniques to Combat Malaria

Hassana Ousmane rests her head against the bed where her 21-month-old daughter, Zeinab, suffering from malaria, rests at the Princess Marie Louise Children's Hospital in Accra, Ghana, April 25, 2012.Hassana Ousmane rests her head against the bed where her 21-month-old daughter, Zeinab, suffering from malaria, rests at the Princess Marie Louise Children's Hospital in Accra, Ghana, April 25, 2012.
x
Hassana Ousmane rests her head against the bed where her 21-month-old daughter, Zeinab, suffering from malaria, rests at the Princess Marie Louise Children's Hospital in Accra, Ghana, April 25, 2012.
Hassana Ousmane rests her head against the bed where her 21-month-old daughter, Zeinab, suffering from malaria, rests at the Princess Marie Louise Children's Hospital in Accra, Ghana, April 25, 2012.
Joana Mantey
Ghana has adopted new ways of fighting malaria, which is considered the leading cause of death among children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the new techniques to raise awareness is making use of notable public figures to sensitize people on prevention, control and treatment of the disease.

The devastating effect of malaria is well-documented. In Ghana it kills 20,000 children every year. Unborn children are not spared. When an infection is not well treated in pregnant women, it can result in anemia, miscarriages, stillbirths and maternal deaths.

Ghana’s National Malaria Control Program is spearheading efforts at managing the disease. The communications officer, Kwame Dzidzorlegapker, said the most effective way of prevention is through use of insecticide-treated nets. More than 12 million nets have been distributed free of charge throughout the country.

Dzidzorlegapker said intensive education is going on to bridge the gap between access to nets and actual use.  

“The strategy is very unique because this time we are also hanging the nets. Research has been conducted and we know that based on that, a lot of people cannot hang the net and it has become difficult, so that is why we use that strategy,” he said.

Heroes help in fight

Another intervention known as "United Against Malaria" or UAM, makes use of role models in the fight against the disease. Personalities include football stars, musicians, politicians and traditional rulers. The expectation is that children retain and act on messages delivered by people they recognize as heroes.

Emmanuel Fiagbe supervises activities of the UAM. He also is director of a project known as ‘Voices for Malaria-Free Future."    

“We are also using United Against Malaria to bring on board the private sector. Funding for malaria is a critical issue. We cannot rely on donors all the time. We need to develop some capacity of providing some support for ourselves," said Fiagbe.

Businesses also are given roles to play in the "United Against Malaria" program. As partners, they are encouraged to educate employees on ways of preventing the disease. Some companies are going further to spray chemical insecticides on walls and roofs of all houses in particular communities. The practice has brought about significant reduction in malaria cases in the Obuasi Township and surrounding villages.

Using varied tools, financing

Fiagbe said Ghana has secured a financing arrangement with the Global Fund to extend this exercise to 40 districts in the country.

He said the U.S. president's Malaria Initiative also is funding indoor spraying in the whole of the northern region of Ghana.

Other measures focus on early diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Fiagbe said the establishment of some stations, known as Community Health Planning and Services units, ensure easy access to health services.

"Through that process we have a nurse located in an eight-mile radius in many communities who take care of children who have malaria and other diseases. This also has been introduced - what we call rapid diagnostic testing kit. So you can use it to test your own child. You don’t need to go to a facility to do that," he said.

He also said use of rectal medications, which are available over the counter, offer protection to children before they arrive at health facilities for treatment.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid