From Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
The Birim Central Municipality has launched the Long Lasting Insecticide Nets Projects with a caution on residents to desist from the desire to sell the nets, as well as using them for pillows, and rather put them to good use.
Launching the project, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the area, Ms. Ophelia Koomson, declared that available reports indicated that with the previous exercise, where the treated nets were distributed free of charge, many of the items were either not used by the beneficiaries, or rather sold.
In order to prevent, the recurrence of this attitude, the MCE, who is the only female MCE among the 21 MCEs and district chief executives (DCEs), disclosed that her office, in collaboration with the organisers, decided to mount the nets in the bedrooms of users to encourage their use.
According to Ms. Koomson, the objective of the “hang up” exercise was to ensure that people slept in the insecticide nets to prevent mosquitoes from biting them.
She said reports from the Municipal Health Directorate indicate that about 86,584 cases of children under five years were reported at the Out Patient Department (OPD) from 2006 to October this year, out of this number, 38,087 were malaria cases, representing 43.99 percent.
It was also gathered that malaria accounted for 31.96 percent of the 483,725 cases of children who were five years old and above at the OPD, in the case of pregnant women 43,450 cases were reported at the OPD, and malaria cases were 5,644, representing 12.99 percent.
According to the MCE, 255 deaths, making up of 51.37 percent of malaria-related deaths, were recorded during the same period for children under five years and above.
This, she explained, was evident from the statistics that malaria was causing a lot of havoc to the people in the municipality, and called for concerted efforts to fight the menace.
The Municipal Director of Health Services, Dr. Albert Antobre Boateng, stated that instead of the government using its resources for developing the country to improve the conditions of the people, malaria control has taken a chunk of those resources.
He therefore, called on the residents to help government channel its resources into development programmes, through the use of the nets.