Gold Fields joins ‘World Malaria Day’ celebration at Huni Valley

Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, in collaboration with Ghana Health Service at the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality in the Western Region, has celebrated this year’s ‘World Malaria Day’.

Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, in collaboration with Ghana Health Service at the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality in the Western Region, has celebrated this year’s ‘World Malaria Day’.

The day offers a platform for individuals and institutions to educate the communities, churches, mosques, etc., on some simple and effective ways to prevent the disease.

The celebration, was on the theme: ‘Using Innovations to Control Malaria’, also coincided with the presentation of diapers and mosquito repellants to 300 pregnant women and lactating mothers in the area.

Mr. Joseph Kwame Sampson, Prestea-Huni Valley Director of Health, speaking at the event, explained that there have been some significant improvements in malaria related cases at the Prestea-Huni Valley health facilities within the last five years.

He said statistics indicate that 52,872 cases were recorded in 2019, showing 44% at the Out Patients Department (OPD) and then 45,746 malaria cases in 2020 were also recorded, showing 36% as well as 59,241 cases were recorded indicating 31% in 2021.

Again, he said incidence rate on new cases indicates a decrease from 44.2% in 2019 to 36% in 2020 and a further decrease to 30% in 2021.

Again, he said malaria among pregnant women reduced from 15% in 2019 to 12% in 2020 and 11% in 2021, stressing that reported deaths for the past three years have also reduced.

He said 50% of admissions of children under age five was due to malaria, with the highest being 59%, which was recorded in 2021.

He stated that averagely, malaria positivity test rate for the past years in the municipality was 63%, “meaning that majority of fever conditions were due to malaria”.

He mentioned some of the key approaches adopted in solving some of the problems of malaria, such as an indoor residual spraying, repellants, larvae control, vaccination and well-proven drugs.

He further indicated that globally, there have been calls for heavy investment and innovations in introducing new vector control, diagnostics, anti-malaria medicine, and other tools to speed up pace of progress.

This progress, he said must be sustained and improved, and commended the Damang Mine for their continued support and contribution in dealing with malaria situations, especially among the most vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and children under five years in their operational areas.

He advised that: “Let us all help to sustain these gains by adopting and promoting the common preventive measures, such as sleeping under insecticide treated nets, use insecticide spray, repellants, etc.

Abdel Razak Yakubu, Community Affairs and Stakeholders’ Engagement Manager at Abosso Gold Fields (Damang Mine), said: “Although the statistics disclosed a reduction, stakeholders need to work hard on malaria cases in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality”.

“We need to work on environmental sanitation, and Gold Fields is committed to that goal of malaria control and we will continue with the advocacy to control malaria. We cannot rely solely on traditional methods, and that is why we chose the theme: ‘Using Innovations to Control Malaria”.

He explained that since 2004, Gold Fields Foundation has invested US$898,000 on the health sector. “On this year’s Malaria Day, we have spent GH¢25,000, and we will continue to collaborate with the Municipal Health Directorate to reduce malaria cases, especially among pregnant women, because they are preventable and we will need the support of all”, he intimated.

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