The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) aims to reduce malaria mortality in Ghana by 90%, reducing malaria incidence by 50%, and achieving malaria Pre-elimination in at least 6 districts by 2025 using 2019 as a baseline.
To help achieve this target, the Ghana Health Service and health management teams are making use of skilled community based-health volunteers to assist in providing malaria services to community members.
Peter Yaw Arhin from Twifo Nyinase-Kojokrom in the Twifo Atti-Mokwa district of the central region is one of 30 community-based health volunteers trained by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) in partnership with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) to support community-level Social Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) interventions on malaria prevention, control, and elimination in the district.
As an empowered volunteer, Mr. Arhin engages pregnant women and the general population through house-to-house and public sensitization activities. He conducts house-to-house visits to identify pregnant women and sensitizes them on risk factors of malaria during pregnancy and the benefits that come from Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria for Pregnant Women (IPTp).
Mr Arhin also conducts monthly follow-up visits on all the pregnant women contacted to ensure that they are adhering to good malaria preventive practices by sleeping under long-lasting insecticide nets.
He also assists HFFG’s Project team to conduct monthly malaria education sessions in churches, schools, and mosques within his communities.
According to him, the best part of his work is when a pregnant woman successfully goes through the pregnancy journey without contracting malaria.
“Through my visits, I always encourage pregnant women to attend antenatal clinics and use insecticide mosquito nets correctly,” he said.
Community members and health workers who have worked closely with Mr. Arhin all have positive remarks about Mr Arhin.
An opinion leader from Nyinase said: “Mr. Arhin is very committed to his work. He is very punctual and always visits houses to sensitize pregnant women and lactating mothers.”
At the Nyinase Health Center, the midwife in-charge of the health facility; Madam Charlotte Kwatemaa also said “Mr. Arhin is a hard-working person, he is always in the community working with pregnant women and community members. He always calls on me for explanations, especially when he does not know what to do or how to handle critical situations. If I were to rate his performance, I would give him 95 percent because, through his advice and consistent education on malaria preventive services, most pregnant women have finally decided to deliver at the health facility in the community.”
Mr. Arhin identified eight (8) pregnant women within the month (March) after visiting thirty (30) houses. Out of these eight pregnant women, two had not taken any IPTp doses as at the time of identification.
To commemorate World Malaria Day 2023, Hope for Future Generations and partners celebrate this selfless community champion. It’s time to deliver zero malaria.