Ghana has recorded significant improvement in reducing malaria prevalence among infants between six months and 59 months, according to the Ghana Malaria Indicator Survey launched here on Thursday.

The survey, compiled by the Ghana Statistical Service with support from the National Malaria Control Program and the Ghana Health Service, observed that malaria prevalence rate among the infants surveyed decreased significantly by six percentage points to 21 percent in 2016, from the 27 percent prevalence rate in 2014.

Acting Government Statistician Baah Wadieh said a lot more needed to be done to sustain the downward slope in the malaria infection rates.

The survey results, however, also show that malaria prevalence among children varies widely throughout the administrative regions of Ghana, ranging from five percent in Greater Accra (capital) to as high as 30 percent in Central and 31 percent in Eastern Region.

Wadieh urged the stakeholders to do more to create awareness about malaria prevention in the country, adding: “Rural children are more than twice likely to be infected with malaria as urban children. This is a call to action.”

The survey revealed that the improvements were due to prevention methods, including ownership of Long Lasting Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Nets (LLINs), which had more than doubled in the last eight years.

It noted that more than 7 to 10 households now owned an LLIN compared to 31 percent in 2008 and 64 percent in 2014.

Keziah Malm, Acting Program Manager for the Ghana Malaria Control Program, said the result was in line with the District Health Information Management System (DHIMS).

“Our routine data also demonstrates reduction in malaria mortality from 3,882 in 2010 to 1,264 in 2016, translating into 67 percent reduction,” Malm indicated.

Gloria Quansah Asare, Deputy Director General of the Ghana Health Service, who chaired the launching of the report, said the information is very important. “Entomologists are also doing a lot of research so that as things change we also add on to the things that we have to do because we have to have a Malaria-free Ghana by 2030.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua/