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Miss Ghana Campaigns For Guinea Worm Eradication

2005-09-19 13:09:37
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Lamisi Mbillah
Miss Lamisi Mbillah, Miss Ghana 2005 has arrived in the Northern Regional Capital, Tamale to begin a week-long campaign on eradication of the guinea worm in the Northern Region. Officials from the Regional Health Directorate met Miss Mbillah, who was on the same flight with the Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Mohammed Amin Adam at the Tamale Airport.
Dr. George Amofah, Director of Public Health Division and Miss Mbillah would undertake sensitisation tour of some of the endemic communities and would address durbars of chiefs and people in those communities. Miss Ghana would pay a courtesy call on Northern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Elias Sory, the Regional Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Officials from the UNICEF, WHO, Community Water and Sanitation Agency and World Vision International and also meet with Regional Guinea worm Eradication Programme Team.

She is expected to visit Tolon in the Tolon-Kumbungu District to interact with Assembly Members, visit Gburmani and Chirifoyili dams and address durbars there.
Miss Mbillah would move to Diare to inspect a water project and hold a durbar of chiefs and people at Tampion and Zoggu in the Savelegu -Nanton District.
She would travel to Sang in the Yendi District to cut-sod for a water project and also address durbars at Taha and Fuo in the Tamale Metropolis.

She would hold discussions with District and Metropolitan Assemblies Members, Regional and District Health Management Teams on other related diseases as well as issues that are of public health importance. Miss Mbillah in an interview with the GNA said she has chosen guinea worm eradication as her project and that she had come to give her moral support to the eradication of disease.

She said: "the more people were involved in the eradication campaign, the more people would understand the eradication process and the more likelihood that the disease would be eradicated".

Miss Mbillah said the simple message she would give to the people would be:, "Please, filter or boil your water before you drink and those who are infected with the disease should stay away from contaminating the sources drinking water."
Major Courage Quashigah, (Rtd), Minister of Health re-launched the sensitisation on Guinea Worm Eradication Programme at Diare in the Savelugu/Nanton District in the Northern Region recently, describing the guinea worm as an enemy of the national economy and all efforts must be made to eradicate it.

He said many people still perceived the guinea worm as merely a health problem with little economic reliance and noted that the presence of the guinea worm lowers the economic potentials through the loss of man-hours on the farm, the lost of school time and the absence of economic development to family members by those afflicted.
He said Ghana is on the spotlight of the world as the most endemic country with the guinea worm disease at a time that it was referred to as a forgotten disease in many parts of world. Major Quashigah said his Ministry had built the capacity of its workers and also put structures at the community level to facilitate the rapid eradication of the guinea worm.

He therefore, called for a collaborative effort from the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development and Works Housing, the district assemblies and traditional rulers to eradicate the disease. Dr. Andrew Seidu Korkor, National Programme Manager of the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme said, currently Ghana is the most endemic country with the guinea worm disease in the world, recording about 60 per cent of the 4,189 indigenous guinea worm cases reported globally. He said the Northern Region was still the epicentre of the guinea worm disease and currently, accounting for 80 per cent of the 2,813 cases reported so far in the country as at July this year.

Dr. Korkor said 20 out of the 110 districts accounted for more than 98 per cent of the guinea worm reported cases with 11 of them in the Northern Region. The Tolon/Kumbungu District recorded 728 cases of the guinea worm, making it the most endemic district in the country. The Savelugu/Nanton District took the second position with Diare as the most endemic spot in the country, registering 68 reported cases of the disease from Jan to July this year out of its 8, 000 people living in the community.

Source: GNA

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