Malaria cases in children plummet drastically in Cape Coast metropolis.

The Cape Coast Metropolitan Health Directorate has announced a significant decline in the number of malaria cases among children under five years old. Last year, the health authority recorded 40,702 cases compared to 45,804 cases in 2021, indicating a drop of 5,102 cases within the metropolis.

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Mr. James Adu Poku, the Cape Coast Metro Immunization Officer, attributed the reduction to the malaria vaccines introduced nationwide to reduce malaria-related deaths in children.

According to Mr. Adu Poku, 3,693 children completed the fourth dose of the malaria vaccines, out of the 77,709 targets in the metropolis. Although the metropolis could not achieve its vaccination target, the Immunization Officer attributed the failure to the long gap between the first and fourth dose intake.

The Ghana Health Service has, therefore, reduced the intake of fourth doses from two-year children to 18 months, aligned with the second dose of measles vaccines, to increase patronage.

The Metro Health Directorate has increased education and sensitization on the importance of the malaria vaccine, which has led to the reduction of misconceptions associated with the vaccines earlier. This initiative has been successful as the Metropolis has recorded zero malaria-related deaths among children under five years for the past two years.

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In total, the Metropolis recorded 29,159 malaria cases last year, compared to 29,954 recorded in 2021. Mr. Adu-Poku acknowledged that the vaccine has reduced the burden of malaria, especially among children under five years across the country. However, malaria continues to be a deadly disease, and he advised caregivers to get their children fully vaccinated against it, including the last fourth dose of the vaccine to ensure their safety.

Mr. Adu-Poku also reminded mothers to sleep under treated mosquito nets to prevent themselves and their children from contracting the disease. The Malaria Vaccination Implementation program is a three-year immunization initiative that began in 2019.

The RTS vaccine was recommended in 2016 by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a pilot introduction in selected areas of three African countries, including Ghana.

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