As part of its activities to mark the World Malaria Day (WMD) and efforts in addressing the challenges posed by Malaria in Nigeria, the Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), a vendor under Catholic Relief Services (CRS), highlighted the success stories recorded in Delta State.
Addressing newsmen in Asaba, the Delta State Officer of the Programme, Sir Austin Uwede, said that ACOMIN was striving to develop a working relationships and linkages with media organizations and personalities for the increase funding in services.
Uwede said, “Malaria is one of Nigeria’s most important public health concerns because of the illness and death it causes to millions of people.
”This treatable and preventable disease is caused by a group of parasites called plasmodium and is transmitted through the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito. Malaria is transmitted all over Nigeria”.
He said since 2019, Nigeria has recorded the highest number of global malaria cases which is 27 per cent of global malarial cases, adding that it accounted for the highest number of deaths.
”In rural populations, prevalence is 2.4 times that in urban populations (31% vs 13%). Pregnant women and children under the age 0 to 5 are the most vulnerable groups to malaria.
”Pregnant women infected with malaria usually have more severe symptoms and outcomes, with higher rates of miscarriage, intrauterine demise, premature delivery, low-birth-weight in new-born babies and neonatal death.
”They are also at a higher risk for severe anaemia and maternal death,” he said.
The state programme officer also said that Malaria is so important that 25 April every year has been set aside to mark the “World Malaria Day” (WMD).
Uwede also said to commemorate WMD this year,
the State Chapter of ACOMIN carried out some activities which includes sensitization rally in conjunction with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, sharing of this year’s theme by all members in our various social media handles.
He further stated that “The theme for 2022 WMD celebrations is “advance equity, build resilience, end malaria, while the slogan is “every effort counts”.
Uwede said: ”In advancing equity, given that health is a fundamental human right, the civil society sees the need and is working towards increasing equity as It pertains to health, particularly access to malaria services as well as service delivery.
”Every person irrespective of their socio-economic class, gender, ethnicity, demography and location should have equal rights and unrestricted access to malaria and other healthcare services.
”The civil society also encourages building resilience of the community health systems – which can be achieved by promoting community ownership and investment in health systems.
”When strong health systems are in place, it is almost certain that efforts put in to fight malaria will be Effective, trackable and sustainable, especially at the community level.
“Community investments in health have noticeably improved since the introduction of the community-led Monitoring (CLM) project being implemented by ACOMIN, witn support from the Global Fund (GF).
On this grant, ACOMIN and its member Community-based Organisations (CBOs) are working in eight LGAS within Delta state namely, Aniocha South, Oshimilli South, Sapele, Isoko North, NdoKwa West, Ughelli South, Ughelli South and Patani.
”The CB0s implementing the project were equipped with knowledge, skills and resources needed to empower community members to take ownership and invest in their own health.
”As à result, several successes are consistently being recorded. Some of the most recent achievements are the purchase and installation of electricity line from generator to water pumping machine at Oyede Primary Health Care in Isoko North LGA.
”The purchase and donation of Spygmomanometer at Ofuoma PHC in Ughelli North LGA, connection of electricity to Ogbe Ogume PHC in Ndokwa West LGA from pubiic power supply.
”Facilitating the distribution of LLIN to qualified clients at Ogbe-Ogume PHC in Ndokwa west LGA donation and installation of window nets at Umute PHC in Aniocha South LGA.”
He therefore solicited for the support of the media and stakeholders, to advocate for government at all levels to increase their budgetary allocations for malaria in particular and health in general.
Uwede also stressed the need for the media to assist in educating the general public on the need to imbibe malaria prevention practices as a lifestyle.