Today is World Malaria Day.
The World Health Organization, WHO fixed every 25th of April to create awareness on the dangers of malaria and the need to reduce it to at least 90%. The theme of this year’s world malaria day is End Malaria for Good.
In Rivers State, the State Government says it would support the procurement of health commodities in all the state owned health facilities to enhance the treatment pf malaria in the State.
The Commissioner for Health Dr.Theophilus Odagme said the State Government has made tremendous achievements in the fight against malaria within the last one year.
Also the Assistant Director for Centre and Malaria Research at the University of Port Harcourt, Dr.Hamilton Opurum called for the increase use of insecticide treated mosquito nets by residents of the State to protect themselves against Malaria.
Dr Hamilton Opurum said some deaths could be prevented if people take the fight against malaria seriously.
The Assistant Director for Centre and Malaria Research at the University of Port Harcourt Dr.Hamilton Opurum also said that the University is working with foreign researchers to identify mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasites and how best to control them.
Meanwhile, The Executive Director, Westfield Development Initiative, WDI, Ms Mobala Lana, has urged Nigerians to shun the intake of any anti-malaria drug without diagnostic tests.
This warning was given in Lagos, as medical doctors and para-medical personnels stormed the Alimosho Local Government Area of the state, to sensitise residents, as well as diagnose them, in commemoration of the World Malaria Day.
She explained that not all symptoms of fever is malaria.
Lana, said: ”Nigeria is said to account for one quarter of malaria cases in Africa. There are more deaths caused by Malaria in Nigeria than in any other country. Nigeria is said to account for about 60 per cent of outpatient visits and hospitalization among children under five years of age.”
She argued that many who are treated for malaria, walk to the hospital and tell them they have malaria and they just give them anti-malaria drugs without confirmation.
She cautioned: ”You may be having a flu or fatigue, thinking it is malaria. If it is the flu, it takes about seven days to get over it, if you take some fruits, and if it just stress, resting will solve the problem and not anti-malaria drugs.
Lana said: ”World Malaria Day is a chance to shine the spotlight on the global effort to control and eliminate malaria. It’s an opportunity to ensure that the message of prevention and appropriate treatment continue and is communicated effectively to people.”
Stressing on the antidote to malaria, Lana urged residents to ensure that they keep their environments clean, noting that allowing stagnant water around places of residence could breed mosquitoes which could lead to malaria.
”Parents should not allow their children put on dark clothes to sleep, disclosing that dark clothes attract mosquitoes,” she said.
Lana, however, stated that the WDI, is a Non Governmental Organisation, that had in the past two years, reached over 700 people with basic medical screenings, through the support of Pfizer, Fidson Plc, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Locke International Consultancy and Alimosho Local Government.