Home Health Malaria: Experts advise on use of treated nets

Malaria: Experts advise on use of treated nets


Abuja – As the World commemorates the Mosquito Day, Director of Fund Malaria Programmes, Society for Family Health, Dr Ernest Nwokolo, on Thursday advised Nigerians to use Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs).

Nwokolo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the use of LLINs is a globally accepted method of preventing mosquito bites that can cause malaria.
According to him, eradicating the malaria epidemic in Nigeria was of absolute importance and a country without malaria was one with reduced poverty levels and a strong economy.
“Malaria is a major threat to livelihood and has adverse effects on the physical and social well being of the people as well as on the economic development of the entire country.
“As a result of the high prevalence of malaria and high rate of mortality, the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and Roll Back Malaria (RBM) recommended the use of LLINs especially for malaria endemic areas,’’ Nwokolo said.
He said consistently sleeping inside an LLIN reduces malaria incidence by up to 50 per cent.
Nwokolo said the use of the nets should be encouraged as study shows that malaria prevalence could reduce the population of those with malaria in country.
“Once you are using the LLIN and your neighbour is using the population will be reduced in that area, that is one great advantage of the net.
“Currently Society for Family Health (SFH) is the Principal Recipient to oversee the Global Fund interim grant implementation.

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“This involves distribution of LLINs and capacity building of community members on effective use of LLINs through massive community based campaigns,’’ he said.
Nwokolo said the mass distribution campaigns would add value to local initiatives that are taking place at state and local government levels to promote malaria prevention.
He advised Nigerians to visit medical centres for proper diagnosis before treatment as not all sickness is Malaria.
Dr Kunle Otuneye, a Consultant Peadiatrician at the National Hospital, Abuja, said Nigerians should maintain personal hygiene to curb malaria.
He said that environmental hygiene including discarding stagnant pools of water was effective in preventing breeding of mosquitoes.
“Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in childhood and pregnant women.
“Malaria is endemic throughout the tropics, including Nigeria. It is, fortunately, an entirely preventable and treatable mosquito-borne illness.
“Malaria is a major public health problem in Nigeria where it accounts for more cases and deaths than any other country in the world,’’ he said.
Otuneye said prevention of malaria was possible through the use of insecticide treated nets for children less than five years of age and pregnant women.
He also said the continuous use of residual insecticides and topical repellant at home prevent malaria.
“Early recognition of symptoms, diagnosis and treatment with artemisinin combination therapy as well as intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women are preventive measures.
“Ideally, availability and use of malaria vaccines, which is in the pipeline, will be a welcomed addition to the fight against malaria,’’ Otuneye said.
NAN reports that the “World Mosquito Day’’ is being observed annually on Aug. 20, in commemoration of Indian doctor Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery in 1897 that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.
Ross is responsible for the annual observance, having declared shortly after his discovery that the day should be known as World Mosquito Day in the future. (NAN)

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