The Acting Programmes Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), Dr. Keziah Malm, has stated that the NMCP will need additional funds of US$121million every year for the next five years in order for the country to cut the incidence of malaria by 75 percent.
Officials of the National Malaria Control Programme are also confident that commitment of the additional funds would also ensure that deaths from malaria are eliminated by 2020.
According to Dr. Malm, the targets are contained in the national strategic plan and the annual gap of US$121million excludes the total cost of intervention from government, external donors and partners.
“When you look at our strategic plan, we have a gap of about US$121million a year needed to satisfy all our needs” Dr. Malm told B&FT.
The NMCP manager pointed out that they have been able to reduce the number of deaths due to malaria by about 64 percent. “It has been going down considerably over the years; from about 6,000 deaths recorded per year in 2000 to 2,200 deaths last year.”
The number of cases reported at health facilities has reduced for the past year, according to the programme manager. “In 2014 we recorded about 8.4million episodes of malaria as against 11.3million episodes in 2013.”
On the use of the Rapid Diagnostic Test kits (RDT), Dr. Malm expressed concern of their cost in the market — but stressed that they are subsidised at the NMCP and indicated that it (NMCP) will continue with its ‘hang-up’ campaigns alongside the ‘door-to-door’.
At a press briefing to commemorate the eighth World Malaria Day, Mr. James Frimpong, Programme Officer for NMCP, highlighted the need for testing before treatment and corrected the notion that “every fever constitutes malaria”.
He disclosed that for this year, the NMCP will embark on the Seasonal Malaria Chemo prevention exercise in the Upper West Region to sensitise indigenes, which are affected during the rainy seasons.
Other interventions include indoor residual spraying, which the NMCP explains is under the auspices of Anglogold Ashanti, as well as distribution of 2.8million nets in the Western and Brong Ahafo Regions.
“Despite the efforts made so far, much is required because we still need to create awareness in order to achieve our target of reducing malaria by 75 percent in 2020.”
The World Malaria Day commemoration, which has been running for three years, comes off in the Western Region on Saturday 25th April on the theme “Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria”.