27/7/2021. The Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme under the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Public Health Division, has launched the national Mass Drug Administration (MDA) against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) under the theme “Face NTDs End the Neglect through effective and quality MDA”.
Present at the launch in Sunyani, Bono Region, were the representative of Regional Minister, Health Partners, officers from Ghana Education Service, Traditional Leaders, Religious Leaders, Heads of Departments and Agencies, Regional Representatives from the Ghana Health Service and Health Institutions.
In a welcome address read by Mr Samuel Gyamena, a Deputy Director at the Regional Coordinating Council representing the Bono Regional Minister, he appealed to the media to provide a suitable platform for the dissemination of messages about the benefit of MDA’s to communities. He added that the government is committed to eradicating the disease.
Mr Stephen-Joseph Attah Mensah, who spoke on behalf of partners highlighted the significant progress made in the fight against NTDs in Ghana as a result of a multisectoral approach led by the GHS/NTD. He stated that to maintain those gains, all stakeholders must commit to and fully participate in NTD initiatives, particularly the MDA for Preventing Chemotherapy NTDs like Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, SCH, and Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis. He emphasized the importance of effective and high-quality MDAs in the fight against NTDs.
There was also a presentation by the NTD program on the current situation of the disease in the country. According to statistics by the program, Every district in Ghana is endemic for at least two Preventive Chemotherapy (PC) NTDs.They also highlighted some of the Program’s successes over the years. In Ghana, Trachoma has been eliminated as a disease of Public Health importance in Ghana in 2018. Ghana is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to have achieved this. Out of the 114 endemic districts, interruption of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) also known as elephantiasis, transmission has been achieved in 103 districts. Ghana is on the verge of shutting off Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) transmission in 60 districts. In the 60 districts that are prepared to conduct transmission assessment surveys to see if MDA can be stopped, prevalence has been decreased to very low levels.
In his keynote address on behalf of the Director-General, Dr. Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah, the Program Manager of Neglected Tropical Diseases, emphasized that NTDs cause significant morbidity and mortality globally and nationwide, and affect the world’s most vulnerable population with devastating and lifelong disabilities that contribute to ensnaring individuals, families, and even entire communities in poverty.
He further stated there was the need to inform all eligible individuals and communities of the 2021 MDA and its significance to the fight against NTDS. He charged all stakeholders present to send the message across to their communities of the impending national exercise. He thanked all the Service’s health personnel for their unwavering commitment to eliminating NTDs. He acknowledged the community drug distributors and other volunteers for their hard work.
This year’s (2021) MDA will be conducted in 70 Districts across 13 regions except for Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions.
Source: Public Relations Unit, GHS