Blood transfusion has been identified as a contributory factor to the spread of malaria in the country.
Mrs Regina Brobbey Appiaa, Malaria Control focal person at the Sunyani Municipal Hospital said this at an orientation workshop intended to form the District Malaria Advocacy Group (DMAG).
The DMAG is to help stop the disease through ownership and sustainable methods in the Sunyani Municipality.
The day’s programme jointly organised by the Sunyani Municipal Health Directorate and Hope for Future Generations, a health-centred non-governmental organisation (NGO) was on the theme: “Contributing to reduce malaria incidence in Ghana.”
It was attended by more than 30 participants including health workers, heads of department, representatives of NGOs and civil society organisations, traditional rulers, the media and the public.
The DMAG, under a project dubbed: “Advocacy for Resource for Malaria Stoppage (ARMS) Initiative in Ghana” is being funded by the Department for International Development (DFID)/United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKaid).
It would be responsible for the improvement and participation of leadership at the Municipal level in malaria programming and implementation and to support in the prevention and treatment capacity of health workers, NGOs and community members.
“The overall goal of the project is to contribute to reducing incidence of malaria in the Sunyani Municipality through testing prior to malaria treatment, formation and operationalisation of DMAG in the Municipality.”
Mrs Appiaa said malaria could accidentally be transmitted through blood transfusion and advised that the product should be properly screened before transfusion is administered.
She said malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country in spite of the implementation of numerous malaria awareness programmes by stakeholders.
Mrs Appiaa said the Sunyani Municipal Hospital from January to June 2016 recorded 21 per cent of Malaria cases among the top 10n Out-Patient Department (OPD) cases.
She observed that the biggest challenge in the treatment of malaria cases was medical practitioners relying on their clinical judgement in managing the disease.
She urged the public to insist on testing at the chemical shops, clinics and hospitals before accepting treatment. Madam Rose A. Baalaboore, the Regional Coordinator of Hope for Future Generations said funding for the national effort in the prevention of Malaria continued to dwindle because Ghana had attained middle income status but all its malaria control activities were donor-funded.
Madam Baalaboore said it is time to increase domestic funding for malarial control activities by involving stakeholders in mobilising support for logistics and kits like Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets to reduce drastically the occurrence of the disease.
She said the project is being piloted in Sunyani and Techiman South Municipalities, Sunyani West, Techiman North, Asutifi South and Dormaa East Districts.
She said besides increase of local government funding for malaria prevention, it would promote sharing of information on current developments in malaria control among leaders and community members and would also increase its diagnosis before treatment.