By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Ekiti State has adopted the 4-pronged approach contained in the National Malaria Elimination Strategy as part of efforts to rid the State of the life threatening tropical disease.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olurotimi Ojo who made this known in Ado Ekiti during the sensitization programs organized as part of activities marking the 2016 World Malaria Day, reiterated the commitment of the State Government to the drastic reduction of the current 25% prevalence rate of the disease in the State.
Dr. Ojo noted that available statistics indicated that malaria was responsible for over 650,000 deaths globally every year, adding that the State was particular about totally eliminating the disease among children under the age of 5years as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers in view of the fact that 30% of childhood deaths and 11% of maternal deaths are caused by malaria.
The Commissioner listed the components of the 4-pronged approach to include preventive methods through the promotion or the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (LLITMN) and administering of Malaria Prevention drugs such as Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamin on pregnant women; proper diagnosis of all suspected cases through parasite based diagnosis; effective treatment through the use of quality assurance antimalaria medicine such as Artemisinin-based combination therapies as well as antenatal care with Health education.
Ojo stressed that the State Government was working assiduously towards achieving the target of ensuring that at least 60% of children that recieve routine immunization in both public and private health facilities in the State, have access and sleep under insecticide treated nets while efforts were on to ensure that 80% of pregnant women attending clinic receive at least two doses of SP therapy drugs for malaria prevention in pregnancy.
He expressed appreciation to the Federal Ministry of Health, Global Funds, Catholic Relief Services and the Society for Family Health among other Support Groups for their assistance in the quest to rid the State of malaria.
Noting that the year’s World Malaria Day was indefinitely postponed in the State on April 25, following the death of six top medical doctors from the State in a ghastly motor accident while traveling to the Nigeria Medical Association Annual General Meeting on the eve of the global event, Dr. Ojo prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed.
Events organized to mark the Day included talks at the palace of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti and the Shasha market along Ikere Road in Ado Ekiti as well as free Malaria Parasite test and distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets.