World Malaria Day
Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease caused by a Plasmodium parasite and transmitted to humans through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. It is prevalent mostly in poor tropical and subtropical countries and is a leading cause of disease and death. Although some gains have been made in the fight against malaria transmission in endemic African countries, the burden of the disease persists. Available statistics in Ghana indicate that malaria accounts for 39 per cent of Out Patient Department attendance in health institutions, 27 per cent admissions and seven per cent deaths. Every minute, a child dies from malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa.
25th April each year is observed globally as World Malaria Day to raise awareness about malaria, recognize efforts to control the disease and engender commitment by policymakers to reduce disease burden. Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, the school's sole benefactor, continues to make strides with its malaria-control programmes in the workplace and host communities.
The theme for the 2018 World Malaria Day was “End Malaria Now” and seven children and two teachers took part in the activities commemorating the day at the Newmont Ahafo Mine from 10.30am to midday.The group was dressed in Malaria branded t-shirts and mosquito masks and could be mistaken for mosquitoes, except that they could not bite!The event was led by staff of the International SOS, the world's largest medical and travel security services firm, with various presentations on malaria prevention and questions and answer sessions.
The key message was the possibility of preventing and treating malaria by:
- being aware of the risks and symptoms
- avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes, especially between dusk and dawn
- sleeping under an insecticide treated bed net
- using mosquito coils and insecticide sprays correctly
- using mosquito repellents after dark
- wearing long sleeves and long pants with closed shoes
- seeking prompt medical attention
As usual, the children stole the show by conveying key anti-malaria messages and participating actively in the Q & A session. They received malaria bracelets, playing cards and other souvenirs for their efforts. We are grateful to the ISOS International for the opportunity to join the fight against malaria and to hone our public speaking skills. Together, we can beat malaria for good!