24 May 2002-- An electronic media campaign on Home Based Care for Malaria has been launched in Accra. The national campaign dubbed "He-Ha-Ho" which stands for Healthy Happier Homes is aimed at equipping mothers and care givers with basic skills and knowledge to correctly and promptly manage children less than five years of age with malaria at home. Additionally, the campaign aims at ensuring that chemists provide accurate information and dosage to their clients.
In addition to the electronic version, the campaign also uses flip cards, leaflets and posters to inform, educate the public while entertaining them to especially recognize the signs and symptoms and appropriate action to take in managing malaria and other childhood fevers
The launching took place at the M Plaza Hotel during the third day of the IMCI/Roll Back Malaria Review Meeting and Planning Workshop jointly organized by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service with funding from the World Health Organization. Sixty health educators, Representatives of NGOs are attending the meeting to review Ghana's Strategic framework on integrated management of childhood illness.
The Home Based Care campaign which is the first phase of a multi-year initiative to improve the health of Ghanaian children through the improvement of home-based care for common childhood illness is being implemented by the Ghana Health Service with technical support from the Johns Hopkins University and funding form the United State Agency for International Development (USAID)
Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Health whose speech was read on his behalf by Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) stressed the need for all child care givers to be taught the basic things to do at home when their children develop malaria.
He noted that majority of malaria treatments in Ghana occur at home or in the community yet only 15 per cent of current home-based treatment are correct and complete.
Dr. Afriyie said studies done by the Ghana Health service has proven that early and appropriate home management of malaria is possible. However, he said effective and sustained information Education and communication is vital to achieving these goals.
Dr. George Amofa, Director of Public Health emphasized the importance of home-based care as most patients do not have access to facility based the country thus treating most of their illness at home. He said lessons learnt from the success of Oral Re hydration Therapy and
the use of Traditional Birth Attendants in the communities have been the guiding principles in the home-based care campaign.
Dr Melville George, WHO Representative congratulated the MOH/GHS for the remarkable progress so far made in malaria control in the areas of strategic preparation and implementation activities. Dr. George re-iterated the support of WHO in the areas of research through Tropical Disease Research (TDR) activities.
The UNICEF Country Representative, Dr. Ramesh Shrestha pledged his Organization's support and and resources commitment to the country partnership in the fight against malaria to which end he announced an annual budgetary support of 20 Billion Cedis (nearly US$700,000) annually from UNICEF for the next three years.
The USAID Director Mr. Art Danart said the campaign is one of the most fruitful collaboration between JHU-CCP, Ghana Health Service and USAID. He paid tribute to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation for its king support to telecast the "He-Ha-Ho" series on radio and television networks for free.
For more information please contact the
Health Information and Promotion Officer in the Office of the Representative,
World Health Organization
P.O. Box MB 142,
Tel (233) 21 763918/9, Fax (233) 21 763920,