Ghana : To prevent malaria use nets. To keep HIV away use condoms…3 April 2009
Awutu Beraku: Prevention is always better than cure, the old adage says. Medical science advocates the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets since they have proved to be effective in preventing people from getting bitten by mosquitoes that transmit the malaria parasite. But some women in Awutu Traditional Area in Ghana’s Central Region are reported to be refusing to use mosquito nets. Reason?
Because they see themselves as dead bodies when they sleep under mosquito nets.
A Traditional leader of Awutu, Nae Clottey was reported by Ghanaian Times a state-owned daily as saying that the belief is embedded in the mind of the women and there is the need for education to get rid of it. (In some communities dead bodies lie in state under mosquito nets.) Nae Clottey, a medical officer noted that malaria is quite prevalent in the area with ten cases being recorded every day.
Most long distant haulage vehicle drivers on the other hand do not leave out of their kit mosquito nets because they know their usefulness in preventing malaria. Commenting on the story, an HIV campaigner observed that “using condoms to keep sexually transmitted diseases away (if one cannot abstain from casual sex) is similar to sleeping under insecticide treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria… prevention is better than cure”.