By Kakra Ankobiah, Project Coordinator, Right To Play
Following the October 2010 awareness campaign organized and led by Right To Play Ghana on the importance of environmental cleanliness and a donation of 150 cleaning brooms and rakes, the Zamgbalun community members of the Tolon Kumbungu district in northern Ghana are ready to take malaria prevention into their own hands. After the awareness campaign, the community members no longer use the mosquito nets as door or window curtains but as bed nets to protect themselves from insect bites at night. They have also instituted an on-going twice in a month clean up in the community to help maintain cleanliness in the community.
Right To Play has been offering health-based sport and play programs in northern Ghana for three years. One such program is supporting the direct implementation of sport and play activities which educates children on health issues such as malaria and helps them apply what they have learnt to protect their health and well-being.
In collaboration with the Youth Action on Reproductive Health (YARO), Right To Play provided the equipment to the community following activities that shared information on how malaria is spread and methods of prevention, such as ensuring that stagnant pools of water are cleared. The Chief who spoke through his Wulana Adam Abukari was grateful for the donation. “The donated items,” he said, “will not only help to ensure cleanliness but also help to foster unity in the community, because community clean up always brings people together as one.
Knowing how to prevent malaria infection is critical. According to disease statistics from the Kyamkpala Health Center in the Tolon kumbungu District, there were more than 550 malaria cases reported in the Tolon Kumbungu district for the month of August. Of those reported cases, more than half were children under the age of five. One of the ways in which malaria can be prevented is by ensuring that mosquito breeding is reduced or eliminated. Right To Play is working in partnership with organizations in the region to ensure that preventable diseases are managed in the areas where they work. Right To Play and YARO have been organizing cleaning activities in the Zamgbalun community for the past 5 months and are hopeful that the sharing of information, strategies to prevent mosquito breeding and the correct use of mosquito nets will contribute to the elimination of malaria-related illness and death.