From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Commissioner for Health in Oyo State, Dr. Bode Ladipo, has said ending malaria in Nigeria is achievable if everyone plays their individual and collective roles against the disease that has been responsible for the death of about 300,000 children annually in the country.
He made the disclosure at a programme organized by the ministry in collaboration with Ibadan North Local Government, and some development partners, including Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N), to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day, with the theme: ‘Advance Equity, Build Resilience, End Malaria’ and the slogan ‘Every Effort Counts’, held in Ibadan on Monday.
Ladipo stated that the theme for this year’s World Malaria Day has a “key message for us all, which include the urgent need to effectively use currently available commodities for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria.
“Urgent and concerted action is needed to set the world back on trajectory toward achieving the 2030 targets of the WHO (World Health Organisation) global malaria strategy.
“This is a call to action for all stakeholders to support the need to create awareness in our different communities on effective use of free malaria services provided across the 33 local government areas of the state and encourage individuals with fever to have their test done and receive appropriate treatment.”
Ladipo stated that the WHO has observed that between 2000 and 2015, there was a steady advance in lowering the global burden of malaria, saying “But this has stalled in recent years, particularly in high burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria.
“Malaria is preventable and treatable. But it continues to have a devastating impact such as deaths and more than two-thirds are among children under the age of five, living in the WHO African Region.
“The impact on the health and livelihood of people around the world is also devastating. In Nigeria, out of 10 deaths in children below the age of five years, three are attributed to malaria. About 300,000 children in Nigeria die of this disease annually. The burden of the disease accounts for up to 70 per cent of hospital attendance in all age groups.”
Oyo State Coordinator for Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Afachung, and Mrs Abonyi Emelda of the National Malaria Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, in their separate remarks, enjoined people to sleep inside mosquito treated bed net, and if they are on drugs for malaria, they should ensure completion of the dosages because non-completion could lead to drug resistance by malaria with adverse side effects.