Although Ghana is promoting a malaria vaccine, very little response is being receive from the populace to take the vaccine for the fight against malaria fever.
There have been vigorous education and sensitization on the essence of malaria vaccine to help reduce the rate of malaria incidence in the country, Mr James Adu Poku, the Cape Coast Metro Expanded Programme on Immunization Coordinator told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Cape Coast as part of the National Media malaria campaign under the African Media Malaria Research Network (AMMREN).
“It has been increasingly recognised that the stand-alone approaches in the fight against malaria was not very effective in behavioural change at individual and societal levels in the Cape Coast Metropolis,” he added.
The AMMREN campaign is aimed to enhance the quality and quantity of malaria coverage, and support broader advocacy efforts to support “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign in eliminating malaria by 2030.
“Many people needs education on the malaria vaccine because the bad perception about it would really destroy effort to reduce and eliminate malaria in the country,” Mr Poku lamented.
He explained that health workers in the district have increased their education through the Child Welfare Clinics, Out Patients Department (OPDs), Antenatal Clinics, Flip chats among other but needed more hands to enhance the sensitization.
He, however, urged stakeholders to take action and redirect their resources and energies on strategizing an intensive education on the populace to recognize the effectiveness of the malaria vaccine in the country.
That would stop the bad perception and fear of taking the malaria vaccine to enhance the national effort to reduce malaria in 2030.
The Immunization Coordinator urged the public to take charge of their health and that of their families by observing the precautionary protocols of malaria just as they have been doing for COVID-19.
“Malaria is the most significant vector borne disease of public health importance, which affects the health and productivity of individuals and nations alike, including Ghana,” Mr POku added.
He disclosed that pregnant women were advised to take all recommended doses of Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) to keep themselves and their unborn babies safe from malaria and also comply with malaria treatment as prescribed.
Some malaria prevention strategies used in the district in combating malaria, he said, were distillation of gutters resulting to breeding grounds for mosquito parasites, increased use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs), and proper case management in the districts.
He revealed that the COVID 19 pandemic affected malaria vaccination in the sense that parents were asked to visit the facilities to get children vaccinated since health workers could not visit them in their homes.
“Parent were asked to come to the hospital to vaccinate their children but they were not coming due to the COVID 19 pandemic but we are trying our best to fix the portholes,” Mr Poku said