The Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd) has called on Ghanaians to be responsible for their immediate environment for an aggressive scale-up of malaria control.

He said malaria was an enemy that should be tackled in “a military style from all angles, spray them dead, target their breeding sites by clearing all stagnant waters”.

The Minister made the call at the World Malaria Day, which is the first to be organised to replace the Africa Malaria Day instituted in 2000.

The day under the theme: “Malaria – A Disease without Borders” was considered at the World Health Assembly held in May last year where delegates from member states observed that global awareness of malaria remained low despite the high death toll and cost of the disease.

The health Assembly therefore, resolved that world malaria day should be commemorated annually to provide education and understanding of malaria and spread the information, and intensified implementation of national control strategies in a whole year.

Major Quashigah said: “malaria does not respect immigration laws, the mosquito does not need visa from you to travel to Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Burkina Faso or even to Europe to continue its havoc” and asked “why do you think they spray their aircraft when they are leaving Ghana”?

He explained that eliminating malaria would increase productivity and wealth and that money spent on malaria could be channelled into building of more schools, clinics and other infrastructure.

The Minister urged governments, corporate bodies, and international institutions to unite for an aggressive improvement of the control of malaria.

Dr. Joacquim Saweka, World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative who read the message on behalf of the Africa Regional Director, Dr. Luis Sambo called on highly endemic countries to give priority to accelerating implementation of interventions and strengthening, monitoring and evaluation systems to reduce the malaria burden.

He said investment in strengthening health systems, capacity and links with community based interventions should be the cornerstone of the orientation to accelerate progress for better health and development.

Improved partnership would also be needed to reduce the burden of the disease and break its vicious cycle, disability and poverty, which are jeopardising the attainment of the MDGs.

“Moving forward on the continuum of malaria control to elimination will require increased and long term commitment, strong partnerships and advocacy, sustained and predictable financing, thorough analysis and appropriate response to implementation bottlenecks and continuous monitoring of programmes performance against investment”.

Dr. Constance Plange-Rhule, Programme Manager for Malaria Control took participants through how malaria is transmitted, its symptoms, treatment and prevention. She said it was time to act to eliminate the malaria parasite.

She urged all to get their surroundings clean to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes and unite to fight the enemy mosquito.

Source: GNA