Health News of Thursday, 20 February 2020
Source: Attah -Effah Badu, contributor
Africa is home to 93% of world’s malaria cases and 94% of world’s malaria deaths, the World Health Organization estimates. Similarly, the economic burden of malaria on African countries, including Ghana is estimated to be up to US$12 billion annually and this continues to slow the continent’s growth by more than 1% per year (UNICEF).
The Ghana Health Service, through the Malaria Control Programme has over the years incredibly worked to curtail the malaria prevalence and deaths in the country. However the World Health Organisation still identifies Ghana as one of the 10 highest malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Youth Leaders for Health Ghana (YL4HGhana), a group of eleven young advocates committed to increased domestic resource allocation to the national malaria response and the strengthening of Ghana’s Health Systems on Wednesday called on the Deputy Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Ofosu in Accra.
The meeting was facilitated by Hope for Future Generations, a national community based NGO led by its Executive Director, Cecicila Senoo.
The advocates briefed the Deputy Director General on their recent advocacy training in Ethiopia and also solicited for the support of the Ghana Health Service to enable them advocate for an increased domestic resource allocation to the national malaria response and the strengthening of Ghana’s Health Systems.
The youth leaders presented a communique and a copy of their work-plan to the Deputy Director General.
“The level of investment in malaria control remains inadequate. Many people who could benefit from malaria interventions miss out because of health system inefficiencies. It is for this reason that as young people, we are advocating for increase domestic resource allocation to the national malaria response and the strengthening of Ghana’s Health Systems,” the group said.
Dr. Anthony Ofosu commended the Ghanaian youth leaders, pledging the Ghana Health Service’s support for the advocates at both the national and the regional level. “We are happy with what you are doing, the Ghana Health Service is ready to support you achieve your goals,” the Deputy Director General said.
The Youth Leaders for Health Program is a joint initiative being implemented in Ghana by RESULTS UK, Hope for Future Generations (Ghana), WACI Health, CISMAT-SL (Sierra Leone), and Health Promotion Tanzania- HDT with support from Comic Relief and in partnership with Malaria No More UK.
The youth leaders have so far presented communiques to the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commissioner, His Excellency Kwesi Quartey and the Ambassador of Ghana to Ethiopia, Her Excellency Amma Twum-Amoah, in their bid to help halve the number of malaria deaths by 2023 through increased domestic funding.