A senior lecturer at the Department of Conservation Biology and Entomology, Dr. Andreas Kudom, has called on stakeholders and policy makers to adopt new strategies on Malaria prevention through continuous research.
He noted that though a lot of resources had been invested into malaria prevention programmes, there had not been any significant decreases in cases of malaria in the country.
Dr. Kudom made this call at a lecture to commemorate the 2018 World Malaria Day which was on the theme “Living with Mosquitoes in Cape Coast: the Threats, Mitigation and the Role of Science”.
According to Dr. Kudom “Malaria is now location specific so we need data to help in its prevention”. He said knowledge by the general public on Malaria was good, however, most people were not aware of the vector which was the main source of the spread of malaria. He said in Cape Coast there were several breeding areas where vectors develop.
Dr. Kudom mentioned Abura, UCC Forest, remnant forests that house monkeys around Aggrey Memorial Senior High School and the Regional Coordinating Council. He said most of the remnant forests in Cape Coast had monkeys that harbour viruses like Yellow and Zika Fever, which could easily be transmitted to people living around these areas through mosquito bite.
The Dean of the School of Medical Sciences, Prof. Francis W. Ofei, who spoke on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, pointed out that by 2016, African Region had 90% of Malaria cases and 91% of malaria death. “Malaria is a life threatening disease caused by parasite that is transmitted to people through a bite by female anopheles’ mosquito. What is important is that malaria is preventable,” he stated.
Prof. Ofei said that in Ghana, several interventions had been made to reduce the mortality and morbidity through malaria. He said the goal of the Ghana Malaria Programme was to reduce mortality and morbidity by 75% in 2020. “The use of Insecticide Treated Net (ITN), Malaria Case Management Training and Capacity Building all over the country is all part of the control and prevention,” he noted.
Prof. Ofei announced that “the World Malaria Vaccine will begin in 2018 and Africa will be one of the beneficiaries”.
In commemorating the 2018 World Malaria Day, he said the Department of Conservation Biology and Entomology in collaboration with the Ghana Science Association was focusing on the Malaria Control Situation in Cape Coast adding that “several research work on different aspect of Malaria Biology and their control in Cape Coast and its surroundings will be shared and hopefully, the appropriate policy makers will take action” he said.