Dr Kofi Adomako, a Medical Epidemiologist with the National Malaria Elimination Programme, says the treatment of malaria poses heavy financial burden on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He said 42 per cent of patients in Ghana had malaria, and 20 per cent malaria cases were recorded at the Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) among attendees across all hospitals in the country.
He added that most of the recorded deaths in Ghana were among children under five years.
“Ghana is one of 11 countries that contribute 80 per cent of the malaria burden in the whole world. Of all the global malaria burdens, in Ghana, 42 per cent of all the people that attend the OPD are suspected to have malaria.
“We are interested in the suspicion because once you suspect, you test, and it increases cost to the NHIS,” Dr Adomako told members of the Media Coalition Against Malaria in a zoom meeting.
He said over 620,000 people lost their lives through malaria, and 77 per cent of children under five years also lost their lives as a result of malaria in the world.
He said data available from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that Africans recorded about 95 per cent of malaria cases and 96 per cent of malaria deaths.
He stressed on the need to prevent malaria as it was the disease with the highest expenditure on the NHIS, saying “that is why we need to do everything we can to bring the burden of malaria down in this country.”
Dr Adomako said everybody in Ghana was at risk of malaria infection, and explained that one could severally be infected with malaria, unlike chickenpox which is a one time infectious disease.
Dr Adomako was hopefully that the Malaria Strategic Plan from 2021 to 2025 which had three solid goals, would help to reduce the malaria mortality by 90 per cent by 2025, and malaria case incidence by 50 per cent by same year.
The Epidemiologist called on stakeholders in the country, especially the media to rise to the task and sensitize members of the public on malaria and its high cost burden on the country.