Today is World Mosquito Day. On August 20, 1987, Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission. The event raises awareness on the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented, as well as raising fund for research into the cure of malaria. The day is also used to salute the groundbreaking work of Sir Ross and other Scientists.
Since 1897 when mosquito was discovered and known to be the cause of malaria, efforts have been made to put a stop to the disease, coming close to complete eradication in the 1950s.
However these efforts have been stifled due to decline in funding needed to continue the progress leading to the state of malaria today. GlobalData epidemiologists report that approximately 70 percent of malaria deaths are of children under five.
Malaria has been a huge financial burden on African countries, costing their economy 12 billion dollars every year. The only way to combat the effects of malaria is for governments across the world to make sure funding is adequate, health education is continued and awareness of the problem is made clear to the people.
Attempt to control malaria in Ghana began in the 1950s. It was aimed at reducing the disease burden till it is no longer of public health significance. The National Malaria Control Programme recognizes that malaria cannot be controlled by the health sector alone therefore multiple strategies will be needed with other health related sectors.
In view of this, interventions were put in place to help in the control of the deadly disease. Some of the interventions included residual insecticide application against adult mosquitoes, malarial chemoprevention and improvement of drainage systems.
Despite these interventions the disease still persists. Malaria is prevalent among pregnant women accounting for 17.6 percent of OPD attendance, 13.7 percent of admissions and 34.4 percent of maternal deaths. It is also common among children under five.
It is the goal of the National Malaria Control Programme to reduce death and illness due to the malaria disease drastically. With financial intervention, increased awareness, and proactivity, the frequency of malaria transmission can be reduced