As the world marks this year Malaria Day, Kogi State Government has called for a concerted effort of the citizenry to maintain clean and healthy environments so as to kick out the malaria scourge across the state.
The Kogi State Manager, Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr Sullaiyman Abdulraheem Adeiza made the call on Monday in Lokoja on the occasion of this year’s world malaria day celebration.
Dr Adeiza noted that world Malaria Day was put together by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Health Assemblies for nations to take stock of how far they have been able to reduce or eliminate the scourge of malaria in their domains.
He added that the day is also set aside for the people to take precautionary measures at tackling malaria, its burden, and needs and to recall all that happened about malaria in the previous year in a bid to control and eliminate malaria from the state.
He disclosed that the Kogi state has been up and doing by putting relevant resources together to fight the scourge, which accounts for the drastic reduction from the previous year.
The programme Assemblies said the state has stepped up advocacy campaigns to religious, community and traditional leaders to enlighten their people on the negative impact of malaria and the need to maintain clean and healthy environments.
According to him, the state has engaged services of different media platforms to convey the message to the remotest parts of the state, with a view to attitudinal change against unsanitary environments.
While lamenting that Malaria has been a major public health challenge to most countries in the tropical region, the best the state could do is to work assiduously to prevent its mass breeding.
“Mosquitoes are a major public health problem as they are indigenous in the tropical zones. The environment is suitable for their breeding, rainfalls, potholes on our roads, gutters and stagnant channels are good habitats for mosquitoes.
“60% of Out-Patient Wards in most health facilities are for malaria patients. Mosquitoes transmit malaria by sucking parasites from one person to the other, which manifests as malaria.
“It has not been easy for us despite our efforts to control it, which is not just medication, but our major work is how we are to prevent it by enlightening the people to adopt clean environment to reduce its breeding, for if there are no mosquitoes there wouldn’t be malaria” He advised.
He, however, commended the Malaria Consortium and foreign partners for their support for the state through the supply of testing kits, treated nets, and drugs, which the state usually distributes to households.
While calling on individuals and corporate Organisations to support the state in her quest to fight malaria, advise pregnant mothers to regularly access antenatal clinics, while children below 59 months should be taken to health facilities for testing and medication as they develop low immunity to malaria and other tropical diseases.
He urged pregnant women to access over 1400 health facilities across the state to be administered ‘intermittent Preventive Therapy IPT which is given in three or four times before delivery to help boost the immunity of the expectant mothers against malaria.
He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for prioritising health in the state and urge health workers to complement his efforts by putting in their best as the saying goes “health is a business of all the citizens.