Lagos employs multi-pronged strategy to combat malaria

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By Lexi Elo
The Government utilises a multi-pronged strategy, which include vector control interventions, preventive therapies, diagnostic testing, treatment with -assured Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs), and strong malaria surveillance to control malaria, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris has said.

Idris who made this known over the weekend during a community sensitisation campaign to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day at the Amu Market in Mushin Local Government Area noted that various integrated preventive measures that have been put in place by the State government is geared towards combating malaria.

Highlighting the various integrated preventive measures, the Commissioner explained that Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) have been deployed to communities stressing that nets are also distributed in public health to children who had completed immunization schedule and also to pregnant women who booked for antenatal care adding also that pregnant women are freely and routinely given in the prescribed manner Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) for Intermittent Preventive Treatment of malaria during Ante Natal Clinics.

“Another preventive strategy being deployed in the State is the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) which is the application of long-acting chemical insecticides on the walls and roofs of houses for the effect of curtailing malaria transmission.  The 6th round in the series of IRS activities was implemented in seven LGAs namely Ojo, Ikorodu, Badagry, Amuwo-Odofin, Kosofe, Epe and Ibeju-Lekki LGAs in 2014 and approximately 650,000 rooms were sprayed”, Idris said.

The Commissioner who was represented at the event by the Deputy Director in charge of Disease Control in the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Rotimi Agbolagorite added that the State Ministry of Health has also implemented Larviciding; which is the application of larvicides to bodies of water to attack mosquito larvae and prevent the development of the larvae to adult mosquitoes in Ikosi-Isheri and Agboyi Ketu local council development areas both within the Kosofe Local Government Area.

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Idris stated that the State government has also made available in all public health facilities in the State, Malaria case management which entails the compulsory diagnosis of malaria either by the use of the Rapid Diagnostic Test kits or microscopy and effective treatment with the use of Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) antimalarials adding that all patients can access the service at no cost.

He posited that the fight against malaria is a collaborative amongst all relevant stakeholders that requires the commitment of everyone stressing that all residents must all be active in ensuring that their environment is clean and free of any collection of water that can serve as a breeding site for mosquitoes.

The Commissioner noted that despite the huge investments in malaria control and the significant impact in the decline in malaria morbidity and mortality, an estimated 198 million of malaria occurred globally in 2013 and 584,000 associated deaths were recorded stressing that the statistics were according to the year 2014 World malaria Report.

Also, speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of Mushin Local Government Area, Hon. Babajide Bello noted that keeping a healthy environment devoid of breeding sites for mosquitoes is one of the ways Malaria scourge can be fought.

He charged residents of local government as well as market men and women of Amu Market to cue into various preventive interventions being put in place by the State government in fighting malaria.

April 25th is World Malaria Day, a day set aside by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership to draw attention to the burden of malaria.  The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Invest in the future: defeat malaria” and aims to draw significant attention to the additional efforts required in achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.