Malaria Ghanaians risk getting malaria through blood transfusion

The disease which is usually transmitted by mosquito is now increasingly being transmitted through blood transfusions.

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Blood transfusion in Ghana has been identified as a contributory factor to the spread of malaria in the country.

Mrs Regina Brobbey Appiaa, Malaria Control focal person at the Sunyani Municipal Hospital made this known at an orientation workshop intended to form the District Malaria Advocacy Group (DMAG).

The DMAG is to help stop the disease through ownership and sustainable methods in the Sunyani Municipality.

It would also be responsible for the improvement and participation of leadership at the Municipal level in malaria programming and implementation and to support in the prevention and treatment capacity of health workers, NGOs and community members.

Speaking at the programme, Mrs Appiaa said patients who undergo blood transfusions are at high risk of transfusion-transmitted malaria.

She has therefore cautioned that proper screening be done before transfusion is administered.

According to her, malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country despite numerous malaria awareness programmes by stakeholders.

She argues that the main challenge in the treatment of malaria cases was medical practitioners relying on their clinical judgement in managing the disease.

Mrs Appiaa has therefore called on the public to insist on testing at the clinics and hospitals before accepting treatment for the disease.

Malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium. Every year, approximately 214 million people worldwide are infected with acute malaria, with majority being in Africa.

The disease which is usually transmitted by mosquito is now increasingly being transmitted through blood transfusions.

A new trial, published in The Lancet, suggests that treating donated blood with a new technology that combines UV radiation and vitamin B is safe and could minimize the risk of malaria infection following blood transfusions.

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