Ghana, a country in West Africa, has recently taken a major step towards eradicating malaria by adopting new game-changing treatments. Malaria is a debilitating and deadly disease that has plagued the region for decades, causing immense suffering and hindering economic growth. The adoption of these new treatments brings hope not only to Ghana but to other countries in the region as well.

Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria worldwide, with Sub-Saharan Africa bearing the brunt of the burden. Ghana alone accounted for over 4 million cases, making it one of the most malaria-endemic countries in Africa.

Traditional treatments, such as chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), have become increasingly ineffective as the parasite developed resistance against these drugs. However, in recent years, new treatments, based on a class of drugs called artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), have shown promising results in combating malaria.

ACTs combine artemisinin, a potent and fast-acting antimalarial drug, with a partner drug that helps to eliminate any remaining parasites in the patient’s bloodstream. This combination therapy not only reduces the risk of drug resistance but also ensures a high cure rate. The WHO recommends ACTs as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria.

Ghana’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) has been working tirelessly to implement these new treatments nationwide. The NMCP collaborated with numerous international partners, including the WHO, to secure a steady supply of high-quality ACTs and ensure their effective distribution.

The nationwide adoption of ACTs in Ghana is a game-changer in the fight against malaria. By replacing the ineffective traditional treatments, the country can save more lives and reduce the burden of the disease on its healthcare system. Furthermore, the use of ACTs will help prevent the development of drug-resistant strains of the Plasmodium parasite.

This major step towards eradicating malaria in Ghana is not only beneficial for the country but also for the entire region. Malaria knows no borders, and the successful implementation of ACTs in Ghana can serve as a model for neighboring countries experiencing similar challenges. The sharing of best practices and collaboration between countries will be crucial in achieving the ultimate goal of regional malaria eradication.

In addition to adopting new treatments, Ghana has been actively working on other malaria control strategies, such as vector control and the promotion of preventive measures like the use of insecticide-treated bed nets. These multiple approaches, combined with the new game-changing treatments, provide a comprehensive strategy to combat malaria and bring the country closer to its goal of eradication.

While the road to malaria eradication is long and challenging, Ghana’s adoption of these new game-changing treatments is undoubtedly a significant milestone. It demonstrates the country’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of its citizens and sets an inspiring example for other nations in the region. With continued efforts and international support, there is hope that malaria can be eradicated, allowing communities in Africa to thrive without the burden of this deadly disease.

About the author

Kwame Anane