The First Lady has admitted that the presence of the coronavirus pandemic is threatening the country’s progress in controlling cases of malaria.

Rebecca Akufo-Addo stated that the virus has put a lot of strain on the health sector.

She has appealed that the attention paid to the fight against the age-old ‘deadly and dangerous’ malaria disease must not be lost in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Indeed, efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 are necessary to protect health systems and the population at large, yet these efforts, must not compromise access to life-saving malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services or threaten to reverse decades of hard-fought progress against malaria,” Mrs Akufo-Addo said.

In her message to mark World Malaria Day, she called on the public to continue its battle against the contraction of malaria which will eventually aid to overcome global health threats, such as Covid-19.

She advised that the health and surveillance systems are fortified to consolidate the ‘hard-fought’ battle against malaria while tackling emerging diseases.

“Now more than ever before, we need to put all our arsenals together to act more effectively. COVID-19 is straining our national health systems and challenging families, communities and countries. I entreat all, especially political, traditional, religious and private sector leaders to reaffirm our commitment to fight and end malaria,” she stated.

“COVID-19 has shown us that, diseases don’t respect borders and persons. By working together, we can end malaria and overcome new threats to global public health, such as COVID-19,” she added calling for the protection of pregnant women and children in sub-Saharan Africa who are most struck by the disease.

“We must prioritize reaching these groups with life-saving interventions, to help reduce further the morbidity and mortality attributable to malaria. While malaria deaths in children under five dropped in 2018, children under five still accounted for 50% of total malaria deaths,” she said.