Malaria in Africa
- Malaria costs Africa $12 billion annually in loss revenue
- Major cause of sick days and school absenteeism
- 40% of health resources are used to treat malaria
- 9% of malaria deaths still occur in Africa
- Most malaria deaths occur among young children
- Malaria claims a child’s life every minute
Malaria in Ghana
- 2013 Survey results show that even with insecticide-treated nets (ITN) coverage at 70-80%
- 44% of reported outpatient hospital visits are malaria related
- 33% of all pediatric deaths are caused by malaria
- 900,000 cases are typically in children under 5 years of age.
- Annual economic burden of malaria is estimated to be 1-2 % of the GDP
Effects of Malaria
- Nearly 50% of all clinic visits in Ghana in any given week are malaria related
- Malaria contributes to
- Severe chronic anemia
- Impaired Immune System
- Cerebral seizures
- Cognitive impairment
Knowing is half the battle – Sobering facts right now are:
- Despite high net ownership, actual net utilization is low
- Use of nets assumes that risk of infection is only when sleeping at night – does not take into consideration afternoon and early evening
- Living in areas where infestation is high leaves an infant vulnerable and exposed at all times.
- Severe lack of attention to other prevention products and prevention options
Children and youth are the future and deserve better
Children are the most vulnerable in the fight against malaria. Too many children are exposed to numerous health risks such as poverty, poor nutrition, and living in environments with poor sanitation that make vulnerability to malaria even more critical.
The consequences of repeated episode malaria illness on cognitive, motor, and social emotional development in children are serious. These consequences contribute to poor school performance which ultimately could lead to those in society who have low incomes, high fertility rates, and poor health status thereby contributing the inter-generational transmission of poverty and a tremendous burden on the health care system. Children are part of the solution in this health crises.