Regardless of all the multifaceted interventions employed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to drastically reduce malaria infections, it remained the highest of all Out-Patient Department (OPD) cases in the Assin Fosu Municipality of the Central Region.
Reported cases of Malaria increased from 41,006 in 2017 to 45,219 in 2018 representing 43 per cent of all OPD cases and ranked first among 10 top diseases recorded in 2018.
It was followed by upper respiratory tract infections, rheumatism, anaemia, skin diseases, acute urinary infection, hypertension, gynecological conditions, diarrhea, and intestinal worms in that order.
Mrs Regina Tagoe, the Municipal Director of Health Services, said this at the Annual Review Meeting of the Health Directorate at Assin Fosu.
She attributed the increase to lack of strict adherence to health advice on malaria prevention and that regardless of the abundant supply of test kits, especially for those in the villages and hinterlands, people were still reluctant to go for the test.
Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria was key intervention to reduce its prevalence, she noted, adding that children under five years and pregnant women were at high risk.
Mrs Tagoe said pregnant women must attend antenatal clinics regularly and take their anti malaria drugs to protect them from the disease.
Also, they should use insecticide treated nets to help prevent malaria while deprived communities without microscopic diagnosis services could use the Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for ready results.
“Treated nets do not only repel mosquitoes, but also protect you from harmful and nuisance insects, giving you a good night’s sleep,” she said.
Mrs Tagoe called for attitudinal change among the people to help deal with the sanitation challenges confronting the Municipality.
She said the rate of the disease outbreak and deaths among Ghanaians would be reduced if sanitation issues were adequately addressed.