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Pop Star Nana Boro Joins Fight Against Malaria in Ghana
"It feels good under the treated net," sang Nana Boro, Ghanaian music icon, to an audience of celebrities, diplomats, and malaria control experts at Citizen Kofi, a popular entertainment venue in Accra, the capital city. The June 15 event marked the launch of a multi-media campaign promoting malaria prevention interventions as "life style products." Adapting the lyrics of his 2010 hit song "Aha yede" ("It feels good in here"), Ghana's new anti-malaria ambassador is asking the population to open their minds to sleeping under a mosquito net and reminding of the devastating impact of the disease on the nation.
According to the Ghana National Malaria Control Programme, "During 2009, a person in Ghana died from malaria about every 3 hours. This means about 3,000 people died of malaria in Ghana that year alone, most of them children." Sleeping under a mosquito net treated with insecticide provides protection from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The nets are nontoxic to humans, but can repel and kill mosquitoes for up to three years. Despite much progress in increasing ownership and use of nets, more than one-half of the population does not own or use treated nets.
Nana Boro gave the rights to use his hit song in TV and radio spots promoting nightly sleeping under treated nets. Sponsored by the Ghana Health Service, the Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT) project, implemented by University Research Co., LLC (URC) and the Behavior Change Support (BCS) project, implemented by Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP), jointly support the campaign, with generous assistance from USAID. The campaign will also highlight other key malaria control interventions, such as use of Intermittent Preventive Treatment during pregnancy and prompt recognition and treatment of fever or suspected malaria. IPTp a highly effective intervention that reduces the serious consequences of malaria during pregnancy. It involves the administration of at least two doses of an antimalarial drug, usually during routine antenatal visits.
June 24, 2011