Malaria in Ghana

Malaria is one of the leading causes of illness in Ghana and the primary cause of morbidity and mortality, accounting for over three (3) million outpatient visits to public health facilities annually. It occurs all year round and affects a large proportion of the population. In 2009 reported cases attributed to malaria among children under five years were 48.9%. Among pregnant women the proportion was 11.5%.

Facts About Malaria

  • Malaria is one of the leading causes of illness in Ghana, accounting for over three (3) million outpatient visits to public health facilities annually. It occurs all year round and affects a large proportion of the population. It is also the primary cause of morbidity and mortality.
  • Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes infected by the plasmodium parasite. The disease is spread when mosquitoes feed on humans.
  • Malaria is hyper endemic in Ghana, accounting for 44.5% of all outpatient attendances and 12 % of under-five mortality.
    Malaria is a major cause of absenteeism from schools and from work.
  • Pregnant women are extremely vulnerable to malaria. If the disease is contracted during pregnancy, it can be passed to the infant or result in low birth weight, which decreases the baby’s chance of survival.
  • Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) use and indoor residual spraying, are the best forms of controlling and preventing malaria.
  • An infected person may start feeling symptoms anywhere from a week to a month after they are bitten. With some rarer forms of Malaria, the parasite remains dormant and an infected person will not become ill for up to 4 years.
  • Malaria kills nearly one million children yearly.