World Malaria Day: NGO partners Lagos govt, takes battle to Iwaya community
Residents of Lagos State have been implored to remain committed to collective efforts towards effective malaria control in the state.
This charge was given at the weekend in the Iwaya community, Yaba, during the sensitisation and awareness campaign programme, to commemorate the 2021 World Malaria Day.
The event, which held at the Fazil O Mar High School, Iwaya premises had youths, market women, community leaders in attendance.
Organised by Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, a non-profit organisation, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, participants were charged with individual and collective roles at ensuring a clean environment, as well as the use of preventive anti-malaria measures as well as an appropriate diagnosis before treatment.
Speaking on the theme “Zero Malaria – Draw the line against malaria’’ with the slogan; “Stand up–Take Action”, Mrs Akintunde Ibironke, Assistant Director, Advocacy, Communications, Social Mobilisation (ACSM), Malaria, Lagos State Ministry of Health, stressed the importance of collective responsibilities of at all levels; including community actors in reducing the scourge of malaria.
Ibironke noted that malaria has afflicted humanity since ancient times and continues to disturb nearly 50% of the world’s population, adding malaria prevention must go hand in hand with community participation.
“In Lagos State, malaria accounts for more than 70% of outpatients in the public health facilities. More than 700,000 malaria cases are reported annually. 657,154 patients with malaria were seen in both private and public health facilities in 2020. Malaria is prevalent in the vulnerable groups – children under five years and pregnant women where the infection can be profoundly more severe,” she said.
Highlighting practical ways to combat the menace, by standing up to take action against malaria Ibironke identified two ways, preventive and curative.
“Cleaning of the environments is a starting point to eradicate malaria. We must empty all buckets and tyres containing water must be emptied; sweep the stagnant water at the entrance of the public bathrooms, and also ensure that drainages around the houses are cleaned always.”
She continued: “It is essential that we prevent malaria by sleeping inside Long–Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs). This is particularly important for the vulnerable groups –pregnant women and children under five years old. Pregnant women are also encouraged to take Sulphadoxine Pyimethamine to prevent malaria in pregnancy from 2nd trimester.”
The health official also spoke on the use of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACTs) for treatment of fever, diagnosis either using malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (mRDT) kit or a microscope must be done.
All the participants undertook free blood pressure and malaria testing, with many of them taking home free drugs provided them by Market Doctors, Limited, a one-stop-shop clinic that delivers primary health care to Nigerians at the market place.