The Lower Manya Krobo Municipality recorded 9, 581 malaria cases between January and December 2020, as against 11, 987 cases recorded the previous year during the same period.
Meanwhile, in 2019, a total of 42,048 suspected cases of malaria were recorded out of which 11,987 were confirmed positive after testing while in 2020, 30,888 suspected malaria cases were recorded out of which 9,581 were confirmed positive after testing.
Out of the total confirmed cases, 240 children under the age of five and 1,092 patients five years and above were admitted with malaria whiles three people lost their lives through complications of the disease in the year under review.
A total of 3,352 Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) had been distributed to pregnant women who visited ante-natal clinics and 2,728 ITNs had been given to children at the Child welfare clinics in 2020 in the district as part of measures to reduce the malaria cases.
Mr Bismark Sarkodie, the District Director of Health who disclosed this in an interview with the GNA as part of the National Media malaria campaign under the African Media Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), stressed the need for testing before treatment was commenced since many ailments presented with similar symptoms.
He indicated that the incidence rate of malaria saw a slight decline due to some measures put in place such as the introduction of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) at the Out-Patients Department (OPD) and consulting rooms across all health facilities in the district for malaria diagnosis and treatment and Larviciding in communities among others.
Other measures contributing to the successful reduction of malaria cases in the district also include the draining and spraying of stagnant waters in various communities by some selected and trained Zoomlion personnel to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.
The District Director, however, expressed concern at the low use of the ITNs despite the wide distribution noting that instead of hanging the nets in their bedrooms, they used it to fence their gardens and others and urged the public to use the ITNs since it was one of the surest ways to prevent malaria.
He said the Municipal Health Directorate was committed to intensifying education especially on the use of the ITNs, strengthening monitoring and supervision, and ensuring proper documentation and data validation to help curb such mosquito-borne diseases.
GNA,s visit and interactions in some of the communities in the district showed that the ITNs were being under-utilised in several ways, some had used the ITN to fence their backyard gardens others had spread it on the floor to dry their maize whiles others use it as a curtain in their rooms.
An elderly farmer, who spoke to GNA on anonymity said his son who is at a Senior High School told him that sleeping under the net was not comfortable at all and so he had refused to use it even though he had three distributed to his children in school some time ago.
Asked what he was using them for, he said he had used one to wrap some clothes whiles another is used as a curtain to partition his room.
A mother of four, however, told GNA that she preferred to use the Nets to prevent malaria since her children were always falling sick, but her challenge was hanging it in the room since it involved the use of nails to be able to hold the ends of the net.