It is the wish of every nation to totally eliminate preventable diseases such as malaria. Malaria, though preventable has claimed many lives in Ghana and Africa at large.
Ghana like any other african country has done a lot in the control and treatment of malaria. Tax payers money and financial aid from else where have been used in the numerous malaria control programs but to no avail.
Sadly the disease remains the number one killer in most african countries. Will Ghana ever be declared malaria-free? I do not think so because of the following.
Sanitation has for a long time been a problem in Ghana. We seem to be clueless in finding a lasting solution to this age old problem. Mosquitoes, the careers of the malaria parasite plasmodium starts it's reproduction cycle in water bodies. One would have thought that the abundant knowledge in the life cycle of a mosquito will make controlling the disease very simple and straight forward. We have open drains every where in this country. We constantly dump garbage in these drains making it a safe haven for mosquitoes to thrive.
Sometimes our backyards become the refuse dump. We dispose off empty cans and containers any how. These empty containers collects water and sooner or later mosquitoes are born and the cycle continues.
These sanitation issues only creates an enabling environment for mosquitoes to live and reproduce.
There is certainly no hope in the fight against malaria if these sanitation problems are not solved.
Another factor hindering the fight against malaria is the attitude of some Ghanaians. Controlling human behaviours has never been an easy task. People will always do what is not acceptable. People sometimes use treated mosquito nets to fence their backyard gardens and think the 'African God' will always perform a miracle to protect them against malaria. Others too complain about their discomfort in sleeping under a net. Sometimes people deliberately allow waste water from their washrooms to collect at wrong places with impunity.
Laws are available to check some of these things but the question is, are the laws being enforced? If so are the laws deterrent enough to discourage others from doing same?
Self medication is not news in Ghana especially when it comes to malaria. Everybody seems to know very well the signs and symptoms of malaria. Any sign of headache and general body weakness is diagnosed as malaria. Most often we try to self-medicate and until when things deteriorate before we seek professional medical help. People must understand that no lay person can confirm a malaria case without a proper test. It's very sad and dangerous to say the least but If you have herbal drugs being advertised daily claiming to have the efficacy to cure malaria, why wouldn't people go for these drugs if they think they have malaria.
Weak healthcare systems
Our healthcare facilities especially in rural communities deserves a lot of improvement. Sometimes qualified health professionals are not available to serve clients. Most facilities are also in deplorable state. In seeking a cure for malaria, one can be reinfected in the health facilities because of the nature of the structures patients are admitted to.
It is the hope of any well-meaning person to see malaria being a thing of the past but with the current situation, it is definitely going to be difficult to see malaria off.