Participants in the media training on national malaria elimination strategic plan after the programme
Participants in the media training on national malaria elimination strategic plan after the programme

Malaria-related deaths reduce drastically

Malaria related deaths have reduced drastically from 2,799 in 2012 to 146 lives last year.


However, the Ghana Health Service says malaria is still a public health threat in the country and it will stop at nothing to achieve a zero rate of mortality by 2028.

Opening a two-day malaria training programme for journalists in Accra last Tuesday, the Director of Public Health of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, said regardless of the progress made, reducing the national malaria burden and saving lives could not be ignored.

The two-day training was organised by the National Malaria Elimination Programme of GHS and it was for journalists from eight regions within the southern zone.

It brought together 58 journalists to update them on the progress made with the national malaria response elimination agenda and to guide the participants to identify and define their roles in supporting the national elimination agenda.

The gathering was also to help revamp the National Malaria Media Coalition to enhance effective malaria advocacy. Another training session will be held for journalists in the northern zone.


Dr Asiedu-Bekoe mentioned progress made as a country to include the improvement in testing rate from 38 per cent in 2012 to 98 per cent in 2023. “Malaria prevalence has decreased from 27 per cent in 2011 to 8.6 in 2022, and deaths due to malaria have also decreased significantly”.

“This consistent reduction in morbidity and mortality assures us all of the effectiveness of our interventions, as well as the hope of elimination with improved and sustained efforts,” he said.

Dr Asiedu-Bekoe attributed the tremendous feat in the fight against malaria to interventions such as the promotion of the use and distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying, larvae source management, mass campaign, as well as case management in all districts in the country.

He commended the joint efforts of stakeholders, including the media, local and international partners towards such progress. Describing the media as an invaluable partner, the Director of Public Health said the training was to equip the journalists with knowledge and tools required to better advocate malaria elimination.

“Delivering accurate and insightful reports can significantly contribute to raising public awareness of malaria prevention and treatment options as well as the National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan,” Dr Asiedu-Bekoe stated.

“There is still so much untapped media potential critical to the national elimination agenda and the Ghana Health Service is very ambitious on tapping that potential, which we cannot ignore if we want to be successful,” he added.

Dr Asiedu-Bekoe called on the media to intensify sensitisation, while applauding them for their tremendous support and contribution to the strides made in the malaria fight.

Public appeal

Dr Asiedu-Bekoe called on the public, a key stakeholder, to adhere to proven interventions and the private sector to help bridge funding gaps.

The GHS also wants other stakeholders to adopt and invest in interventions in their catchment areas. The Public Health Director urged the consistent use of the treated insecticide mosquito nets and the need for the citizenry to seek early diagnosis and stick to treatment plans.

The public, as much as possible, must take steps to prevent the creation of breeding places for the malaria causing mosquitoes such as keeping stagnant and slow flowing water, whether dirty or clean.

A representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr Felicia Owusu-Antwi, said the country had done tremendously well with its fight against malaria, but had the capacity to do more.

She also applauded the country for taking the bold step to move from control to elimination, saying advocacy was key in winning the malaria fight, highlighting that it could not be done without the media.

“Advocacy is the bedrock for Malaria response; particularly, it’s about the public making informed decisions on preventive and treatment options,” Dr Owusu-Antwi said.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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