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AMMREN Trains Ghanaian Journalists on Malaria

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Malaria
Malaria

The African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) has trained some selected journalists in the Upper East Region on malaria, to enable them produce educative articles and documentaries on the disease.

The training formed part of part of efforts to eliminate it in Africa.

AMMREN has over the years been actively involved in advocacy on malaria and related diseases on the continent, and has filled the gap between information sharing and feedback on health outcomes to ensure that researchers, policy makers, communities and journalists worked together to reduce the disease burden in Africa.

Speaking at a one-day workshop held on the theme “The role of the media in Strengthening the Quality of Malaria Care and Surveillance in Ghanaian Communities”, Dr Charity Binka, the Executive Secretary of the AMMREN said the role of the media to inform and to educate, would direct the public to make informed choices about their rights.

She said the media; particularly radio was the best tool to disseminate information to community members using the various local dialects on the essence to sleep under treated mosquito nets to avoid mosquito bites and that needed to be enforced.

She charged journalists to empower the people with knowledge to enable them have a positive change towards malaria prevention and control.

Mrs Binka urged journalists to research more into issues of malaria to be able to ask the right and critical questions, adding, “We should not go to interview the experts completely ignorant, you will bore them and you may not get the information you need.

Dr Thomas Anyorigiya, a Research fellow at the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC) in a presentation on “Strengthening Quality of Malaria Care and Surveillance in Ghanaian Communities,” said the impact of malaria on health and local economies in Sub-Saharan Africa remained alarming.

Malaria he said was the leading cause of death in children under five years old, and among the top causes of death in adults in Ghana.

Dr Anyorigiya said children under 10 years old and pregnant women were most at risk, and added that “Malaria control has primarily focused on children under five years, but there is also a high burden in older children.”

He said lack of quality malaria care at the community level especially among those in the risk group such as pregnant women and children under 10 years of age, was likely to lead to several complications.

To this end, Dr Anyorigiya said the INDEPTH Network, an international Non-Governmental Organization was collaborating with the NHRC, the Kintampo and Dodowa Health Research Centres to implement a community based project called titled: “Strengthening Quality of Malaria Care and surveillance in Ghanaian Communities”.

The three-year project, which seeks to train journalists on malaria in the Brong Ahafo, Upper East and the Greater Accra Regions, where the project is being implemented, started in April 2017, with sponsorship from Comic Relief UK and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the Ghana Health Service and the National Malaria Control Programme.

Journalists as part of the training visited the War Memorial Hospital’s laboratory for a presentation on malaria case detection and management.

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