He said several interventions had been put in place to fight the disease but it still contributed about 80 per cent of all Out-Patient Department cases in almost all health facilities in the country.
Mr Zacharia was speaking at a day’s training on Behavioural Change Communication and Microscope for Malaria Diagnosis for some media practitioners in Sunyani.
The training was organised by the Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a health centred non-governmental organisation working to improve the socio-economic status of women and children, with support from the UK Aid.
Mr Zacharia said malaria control could be effective if people changed their behaviour by avoiding self medication and presumptive treatment of the disease.
He explained that information on the causes, effects and spread of the disease could go down well to the people if the electronic media took up the responsibility to educate the citizenry.
Mr Zacharia said though malaria was very common, many people lacked basic knowledge about it and entreated the media to help educate the general public.
Mrs Rose Balaaboore, Project Co-ordinator of the HFFG, said the training was in line with a six-month project the NGO was implementing in 100 communities in 10 districts and municipalities in the region.
Beneficiary communities are Sunyani, Wenchi and Techiman municipalities, Sunyani West, Dormaa East, Jaman North, Jaman South, Asutifi North, Tain and Banda districts.
Malaria treatment based on diagnostic testing is good clinical practice and has many advantages over presumptive treatment of all fever episodes.
Presumptive treatment of malaria has adverse effects on patients as administration of malaria drugs without diagnostic test led to drug resistance, Mrs Balaaboore said.