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Japan Supports Infectious Disease Prevention in the Northern Region

2007-09-05 15:32:59
This article has been read 699 times.

The Japanese government on Tuesday announced a one-million U.S dollars (GH¢ 930,000) grant to support infectious diseases prevention for children in Ghana. Mr. Masamichi Ishikawa, Japan's Ambassador to Ghana, at a press conference in Accra said the support was particularly for the control of malaria in deprived communities.

He explained that the grant would be used to purchase 135,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets for children and pregnant women in the Upper West, Upper East, Central and Northern Regions.

The support would also facilitate the conveyance of the nets to the four regions, net distributions to pregnant women and children and for monitoring of the use of the nets.

Mr. Ishikawa said the Japanese government was committed to support Ghana's effort in malaria prevention and noted that the priority placed on the reduction of child mortality was in Japan's official development assistance to Ghana.

He expressed concern that malaria remained the most significant cause of death, accounting for 22 percent of children who die before the age of five and commended the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) for sustaining the vigour towards reduction of malaria in Ghana.

Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in Ghana, said malaria continued to be a major contributor to prevailing poverty and low productivity in Ghana and accounted for one-quarter of all deaths in children under the age of five.

"The proper use of insecticide treated nets can save many lives if children and pregnant women sleep under them regularly," she said and explained that part of the funds would be used to support awareness raising and social mobilization to encourage the proper use of nets.

Dr. Haque said it was important to educate people that malaria was not caused by eating too much oily food or mangoes but transmitted by certain types of mosquito and strongly advocated the need to sleep under the bed nets to be protected from malaria.

She said the nets would be distributed in November this year as part of activities to mark the Integrated Maternal and Child Health campaign initiated by the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Haque noted that the campaign would not only provide life-saving bed nets to young children and pregnant women but would also provide oral polio vaccine, vitamin A supplements and de-worming medication.

Dr (Mrs) Gladys Ashitey, Deputy Minister of Health received the official signed documents for the grants.

Source: joyFM

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