Ghana District Malaria Advocacy Teams Emerge

Advocacy efforts are needed at the district and community levels to ensure that national policies for a malaria free future are actually implemented. Emmanuel Fiagbey of Voices Ghana contributes this report on development of District Malaria Advocacy Teams (DMATs)

Working in close collaboration with the National Malaria Control Program, the District Health Management Team (DHMT), the District Assembly and other stakeholders, Voices Ghana has succeeded in laying the foundations for vigorously promoting malaria advocacy at the district level.

ghana-blog-photo-1.JPG DMATs have become functional in Asuogyaman and Keta Districts. The process was set in motion with a meeting of key stakeholders including traditional leaders, religious leaders and leaders of public and private sector organizations who discussed the malaria situation, ITN distribution and use, acceptance and use of the new malaria drug, availability of resources for malaria control programs, and developing effective partnerships for malaria control.

DMATs were formed with the goal of effecting change in malaria programming, policy implementation and improving resource mobilization for malaria control efforts. Membership includes members of the District Assembly, DHMT, NGOs, other key public sector departments, chiefs, religious leaders, private sector representatives, the media and the Police Service.

1212121212.jpgSo far the DMATs have defined their roles and responsibilities and formulated their advocacy action plans for implementation. Examples of activities include

  • Mothers and Fathers clubs for malaria control in 30 communities in the Asuogyaman
  • Sensitization durbars in selected communities on the new malaria drug policy
  • Private sector fund raising with organizations such as the Volta River Authority, Akosombo Textiles Ltd. Akosombo Volta Hotel, and Keta Salt and Fishing Industry
  • Labor union mobilization for malaria control in the work place
  • Malaria free clubs in schools
  • Consultative meetings with Parent Teacher Associations on strengthening early treatment and referral systems in schools
  • Ensuring all health facilities are equipped with ITNs
  • Create seed funds for Artesunate+Amodiaquine and SP to prevent stock-out
  • Consultative meetings with District Council of Chiefs and religious leaders
  • Creation of special ITNs funds to serve the needy
  • Malaria prevention and treatment education with women’s and men’s associations.

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