By: Yakubu Abdul Atik
The Institute of Social Research and Development (ISRAD) – Ghana as part of its Media health communication campaign programme has organized orientation for media personnel to promote the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets in the Upper East Region.
Upper East Regional coordinator of ISRAD, Abdul-Razak Issah in a presentation stated that the organization which operates in 100 communities in all the 13 districts in the Upper East Region has since been creating awareness among the general public about the link between mosquito bites and malaria.
He added that the project goal is to promote behavioral change among the general public to sleep under LLINs at all times and to educate the general public about the economic impact of malaria on the individual, family, community and the nation at large.
Mr. Abdul-Razak Issah, further stated that the Media were brought on board as partners to help provide platforms for sensitizing the general public on the need for malaria diagnosis using Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDTs) or microscopes before treatment and the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) through radio discussions and airing of recorded jingles and as well integrate behaviour change communication messages on malaria diagnosis before treatment and use of LLINs into all existing public service broadcasting programmes
He said there was therefore the need for such collaborative efforts to optimize the use of LLINs in order to reduce transmission of malaria. Mr. Abdul-Razak indicated a Media health communication campaign is recognized as one of the means to get more people to sleep under LLINs and it was against this background the orientation was organized.
The media houses were drawn from URA radio, Nabina radio, Builsa radio, Quality FM, Gurune radio, A1 radio, Word FM, Tanga radio, Source FM, Daily Graphic, Daily Guide, Chronicle, Joy FM, GNA, Ghanaian Times, the Observer, Statesman News papers and that of GTV, TV3 and NTV respectively.
Mr. Stephen Bordotsian, the regional malaria focal person explained that the unapproved use of the LLINs contributed to the region recording 366,821 confirmed malaria cases last year as against 314,125 cases recorded in 2014. He said the total death due to malaria in the region recorded last year was 122 with 88 deaths recorded in 2014.
In order to help curb the spread of malaria, he disclosed that Ghana health service was to roll out the distribution of LLIN to maintain the universal coverage as the region has received about 641,000 nets for distribution to households in the region.
Mr. Peter Boateng, Deputy Director of administration at the health directorate on his part urged community members to use the nets for its intended purpose and appealed to the Media to help commit and assist in promoting the use of the nets to help reduce the incidence of malaria in the region. He therefore thanked ISRAD for organizing such orientation to complement the efforts of Ghana Health Service and UKAID for funding the project.
The Media personnel on the other hand pledged to support the course.
ISRAD is a national and community based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) established in Ghana in 2006 to undertake integrated development research, design and manage development programs to improve the lives of people. It operates in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Brong Ahafo regions in the country.