The Media has been called upon to assist Ghana extend the usage of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) among Ghanaians from the current 58 percent to the target of 80 percent, through sustained education on the importance of sleeping in mosquito nets to help win the war against Malaria.Â An Official of the Ghana Malaria Control Programme, Mrs. Abba Baffoe Wilmot, who made the call revealed that about one point three million nets are currently being distributed free of charge in Bono-Ahafo.Â She was speaking at a special briefing on the ongoing distribution for the Media in Sunyani.Â She revealed that the main purpose for the briefing is to solicit the support of the Media to help get more Ghanaians to use the nets. Madam Baffoe-Wilmot recounted that between 2010 and 2012, one point two million ITNs were distributed in Bono-Ahafo.Â She said those nets have expired so the current exercise is seeking to replace them.Â She revealed that due to financial difficulties this time around the distribution is taking place at designated points instead of the house to house method. Â Â She said beneficiaries have already been registered and given coupons to redeem their nets.Â She continued that the nets are being distributed on a two is to one basis and not one for every individual in a given family.Â She advised that the nets need to be aired for 24 hours or more, under shade before use.Â Cautioning that failure to do so may result in a burning sensation when it comes into contact with the skin.Â The Malaria Control Programme Representative, said the nets can last up to three years or twenty washes.Â She urged the Media to help educate the people to use the nets every day.Â She said a recent Health Demographic Survey revealed that ownership of nets stands at 68 percent, while usage is lower at 58 percent.Â The Media is therefore being brought in to help raise the figures to the target of 80 percent for both ownership and usage of nets. She said although use of ITNs have improved since 2003 when it stood at three percent to the current 58 percent, adding that there is still more room for improvement.Â She said since the last quarter of 2014′ the ITNs have been distributed in the Volta and Eastern Regions.Â Western Region will be the next to be served after Bono-Ahafo.While others with the exception of the Upper East Region would take their turns when the ITNs are ready.Â Upper West is not included as a Programme on Indoor Residual Spraying of Mosquitos is in progress in the Region. A Behavioral Change Communication Expert working with the Programme, Kwame Gakpey reminded Ghanaians that Malaria cannot be taken lightly since it kills more people that Ebola or AIDS.
Source:Biiya Mukusah Ali/http://newspaper.developghana.com/Â