NGO Introduces an Affordable Approach to Fighting Malaria
By Osman Dawda
Malaria is a topmost killer disease in Ghana and the case is no different in the Northern region. Various forms of treatments including expensive ones are being applied to stem the surge, yet malaria continues to bring misery to children and families. In view of this, a non-governmental organization in the northern region, Tuma Kavi has adopted affordable precautionary measures to sensitize parents and school pupils on the importance of environmental and personal hygiene in relation to malaria.
Yong is a community in the Savelugu-Nanton district of the Northern region, which the NGO Tuma Kavi has adopted to fight malaria, a number one killer disease in the district. The NGO uses a practical two-way precautionary approach to fight the disease namely 'soak away' and sensitizing school pupils on the importance of environmental and personal hygiene. In this regard, parents are sensitized and helped to construct 'soak-aways'.
With this technique, trenches are dug and filled with stones at the rear of the resident's bath houses in order to contain the running water that breeds mosquitoes. Also, school children are educated on the importance of sanitation through games. This makes the programme entertaining and educative and therefore easy to assimilate.
According to the Programme Co-ordinator, Shanen O'Brien, since the institution of the soak-away programme in the community a couple of years ago, there has been a substantial decrease in the spread of not only malaria, but also other environmental-related diseases. She expressed the NGO's belief that the new catch-them-young approach will be even more effective in addressing the situation and would instill in the pupil, environmental discipline.