Latest NewsMalaria StoriesInternational Day Of The Girl Child: Get Up, Speak Out And Save Adolescent Girls From Malaria

October 12, 2020by ammren_admin

Her Excellency Rebecca Akuffo Addo, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana

In collaboration with:
Dr. Keziah Malm, National Malaria Control Programme of Ghana
Dr. Julie Gutman, Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group of the UN Roll Back Malaria Partnership

Dr. Maurice Bucagu, Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group of the UN Roll Back Malaria Partnership
Dr. Abena Poku-Awuku, Medicines for Malaria Venture

It is long before the break of dawn, and the sound of young girls fetching water and getting the home ready for the day’s activities is not unusual in many African households. However, it comes at a life-threatening cost: exposure to malaria.

11th October is the International Day of the Girl Child. Launched in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly, this day has been set aside to highlight the challenges girls face and empower them to fulfill their dreams and enjoy their human rights.

As the Chairperson of the Infanta Malaria Foundation, I have been championing malaria elimination for over a decade and in particular, since taking on the role of the First Lady of Ghana in 2016. I have also been working together with national and international stakeholders to empower our girls. As a country, we are focusing on the health of our adolescent girls because they make up 20 percent of Ghana’s female population (and 10 percent of the total population) and are a critical foundation for our country’s development.

Globally, malaria is among the top killers of adolescent girls and contributed to 7.4% of deaths among this population., , Malaria is a serious health risk during pregnancy, especially during the first pregnancy, which for many in malaria-endemic countries occurs during adolescence. This is because during pregnancy the body undergoes physiological changes, which increases susceptibility to malaria. Coupled with other challenges young girls face such as malnutrition, malaria causes anaemia, a life-threatening condition for both the mother and newborn, in which the body is depleted of healthy red blood cells. Surviving newborns may be severely underweight, and this could delay physical and mental development.