Adaklu Tsriefe (V/R), Aug 1, GNA - Out of 13,237 people who were tested for suspected malaria cases in the Adaklu district between January and June, this year, 5,522 tested positive.
During the same period in 2020, 8,721 people were tested and 3,490 tested positive.
Mr. Robert Bedie, Adaklu District Malaria Focal Person disclosed this at a one-day Malaria Community Sensitization Intervention Workshop at Adaklu Tsriefe in the Adaklu District.
It was organised by GOSANET Foundation, a health NGO in the Adaklu district in collaboration with the Adaklu District Health Directorate with funding from The Global Fund through the National Malaria Control Programme.
It was attended by about 40 participants including traditional and religious leaders, health workers, assembly members, and community volunteers from some selected communities in the district.
Mr. Bedie said 67 pregnant women in the district also tested positive for the disease in the first half of 2020 while 94 tested positive between January and June 2021.
He said the increase in malaria cases in the district could be due to a number of factors including non-adherence to treatment protocols, insecticide resistance challenges, inadequate local funds for fighting the menace, and low usage of insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
He also disclosed that globally in 2019, 229 million cases of malaria were recorded out of which 409,000 deaths were reported.
Mr. Bedie noted that the African region accounted for 94 percent of those cases and deaths.
The Focal person said pregnant women and children had a higher susceptibility in highly endemic malaria areas and advised them to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
He said malaria if left untreated could cause permanent brain damage especially in children, epilepsy, physical disability and could also cause miscarriage in pregnant women.
He, therefore, advised that even pregnant women with no sign of clinical malaria whose pregnancies were at least 16 weeks to take Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) malaria drug.
Mr. Bedie said indications were that after taking the first dose of the SP, most pregnant women refused to continue with the dosage and appealed to them to complete the full course.
Mr. Samuel Yao Atidzah, Executive Director of GOSANET Foundation hinted that the Foundation was selected for the New Funding Model III of the Global Fund to continue the malaria awareness creation and prevention in 15 communities in the district.
He said they were working to cover 80 percent of communities that were at risk of malaria by 2025 adding that they would provide an appropriate diagnosis to all malaria cases in the district.
Mr. Atidzah asked the participants to work hard to ensure that 95 percent of the people in the district use at least one form of malaria preventive measure.
He pleaded with traditional and religious leaders and assembly members to assist volunteers in their communities in the malaria awareness creation and prevention.
Ms Lynda Buatsi, Adaklu District Disease Control Officer told the participants to also educate members of their communities on the devastating effect of the new variant of the COVID-19 and the need to always observe all the safety protocols.