|Mr. Thomas Suuri|
The Disease Control Officer for the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba (STK) District in the Northern Region, Thomas Suuri, has lamented over the attitude of majority of the people towards healthcare promotion despite persistent behavioural change education being given to them.
According to Mr. Suuri, many parents especially mothers, refuse to take their children to the hospital for post-natal care weeks after delivery. “Even when community nurses go to their homes, they demand that they are paid before they allow the nurses to attend to their children.
“Gone are the days when health officials went out for outreach services and community people would give them fowls, yam and other gifts. Nowadays, when our staff go out there for immunisation, parents refuse to bring out their children. They demand that unless they are paid they will not bring their children. I feel so sad about the behaviour of our people.”
The STK District Disease Control Officer who is also the Focal Person for Malaria, therefore appealed to the chiefs and other opinion leaders to encourage their people to heed to the advice of health officials in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
|Mother sleeping under net with child|
Mr. Suuri made these revelations at a stakeholders meeting on Advocacy for Resource for Malaria Stoppage (ARMS) project organised in Sawla by the Institute of Social Research and Development (ISRAD-Ghana).
The purpose of the meeting was to sensitise stakeholders from decentralised departments, chiefs and assembly members on the high incidence of malaria in the district and how they could find a solution to it.
It was also to form a multi-stakeholder group that would lead in the mobilisation of critical resources to enable the district combat malaria and its associated problems in the district.
Sponsored by the UKAID, ARMS is a one year project (2016-2017) being implemented by ISRAD in 54 districts across Ghana. The overall goal of ARMS, according to the Northern Regional Coordinator of ISRAD, Abdul-Raxak Bawah, is to contribute to the reduction of malaria cases in Ghana.
|Mr. Abdul-Raxak Bawah|
He also explained that, through ARMS, District Malaria Advocacy Groups (DMAGs) are formed and operationalised in beneficiary districts. “Members of the DMAGs are expected to mobilize resources to assist their districts to combat malaria through public education, procurement of anti-malarial drugs, long lasting insecticide nets and testing kits”, Mr. Bawah indicated.
The six member group in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District is led by the Sawlawura Alidu Bukari who has pledged to lead his colleagues to look for the necessary resources that the district health directorate requires to eradicate malaria.
Mr. Bawah noted that, so far, testing prior to malaria treatment has increased by 10 percent in all 10 regions of Ghana where the ARMS project is being implemented. “Formation and operationalization of District Malaria Advocacy Groups in 25 percent of districts in Ghana”, he stressed.
He also mentioned that, 10,000 healthcare service providers have been sensitized to adhere to the national malaria diagnosis protocol whereas 1 million healthcare seekers sensitized to demand to be tested prior to malaria treatment.
Meanwhile, Ghana is said to record about 9million cases of malaria each year. By 2020, the Ghana Health Service is expected to reduce the disease and death due to malaria by 75 percent using 2012 as a baseline.