Malaria reduced in Navrongo Central Health Centre

By: Mavis Offei Acheampong

For the past three years, the Navrongo Central Health Centre (NCHRC) in the Kassena Nankana District of the Upper East Region has recorded zero Under-Five malaria fatality rate.

The authorities at the clinic attribute this achievement to the introduction of the Malaria Vaccine, RTS,s. Since 2016, the Upper East Region has recorded lower rates of malaria cases, due to the combined malaria interventions such as the seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) and the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

The introduction and piloting of the Malaria Vaccine RTS,s in the region, has further helped reduce severe malaria cases which in the past were a challenge, especially during the rainy seasons in the region.

Malaria cases in the Navrongo Community Health Clinic, which is one of the piloted clinics for the Malaria Vaccine RTS,s, for instance, has dropped from 10.3 % in 2000 to 8.2% in 2022.

Malaria reduced in Navrongo Central Health Centre

According to the Physician Assistant at the Navrongo Central Health Centre, Dr. Emmanuel Wadem Kowonve the high rate of under-five severe malaria cases is no more.

“There is a drastic reduction in severe malaria as compared to those times when we were not using the Malaria Vaccine RTS,s. When they bring in the case and we test it is other infections instead. The vaccine has had a great impact on our children and playing a dual role protecting them. In that those who have been vaccinated do not go into the severity form of it and it also protects them from getting the malaria”.

Though upper respiratory infection cases are still high due to the weather pattern in the region, the Physician Assistant at the Navrongo Central Health Centre (NCHC), Dr. Emmanuel Wadem Kowonve encouraged parents to continue to bring their children for the final dose of the vaccine, which is the booster.

He said the combined malaria interventions by the Ghana Malaria Eradication Program is a best way to go to eradicate malaria in the region and the country as a whole.

“The big challenge we have is people are still not sleeping in the insecticide treated mosquito nets, (ITN’s) especially pregnant women and children under five. These group of people are most vulnerable to malaria infections and must sleep in the ITN”s. We have had three heavy rains and the mosquitos are breading again, so the mosquito nets are the best option for the pregnant women and under-five’s in order to avoid complications”.

The malaria Vaccine RTS,s is the first malaria vaccine to be piloted and introduced in the West Africa Sub region in 2019, for children under five years.

The vaccine works against the malaria Plasmodium Falciparum, the deadliest malaria parasite in the world and the most prevalent in Africa.

The vaccine significantly reduces malaria and life-threatening severe malaria in children under five. It is a four-dose regimen that has been accepted by the W.H.O. for use as broader. It is taken at 6 months, 7 months, and 9 months and at age two. So far, more than three million doses have been administered through routine immunization programmes in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya.

Malaria reduced in Navrongo Central Health Centre
Some patients at the Navrongo Central Health Centre


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