By Chioma Obinna
As the world marks this year’s World Malaria Day with the theme: “Achieving Zero Malaria Begins with Me”, the Lagos State branch of Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has called on Federal and state governments to be intentional and proactive in the fight against malaria if the country must reduce the high number of cases and deaths in Nigeria to achieve a marked impact on national and international targets.
Making the call in a statement jointly signed by Dr Adetunji Adenekan and Dr Imeh Okon, the Chairman and Secretary of the Lagos NMA, respectively, the Association said Nigeria, particularly, Lagos State, needs to self-audit her role in sustaining the heaviest burden of a preventable and curable disease that can also, be eliminated especially in children under the age of 5 and pregnant women.
“We need more commitment from the government in the area of funding to maintain progress and continue scaling up coverage of effective malaria interventions.
“More resources are needed to develop and maintain effective surveillance programmes and to combat increasing mosquito resistance to insecticides and parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs.
“Thus for this year’s World Malaria Day, it is a wakeup call for all and sundry to assist in making Lagos and Nigeria as a whole Malaria free.”
Citing WHO report, the NMA, nations that have successfully beat malaria did so through a combination of advanced medication and treatments, the prevention of mosquito bites, and the elimination of infected mosquitoes.
They said that these countries’ achievements ought to serve as an inspiring example for the larger global fight to end malaria for good.
“One of the most cost-effective ways of preventing malaria is making our environment clean such as eliminating breeding grounds for mosquitoes, for example, ponds and stagnant waters.
“A clean environment does not abhor mosquito and as such reducing the prevalence of malaria and its attendant complications,” they stated.
“It’s our hope that Lagosians will take this message home and implement Zero Malaria Begins with Me in their various communities thereby reducing the burden of malaria in our society.
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