Nathaniel Gbaoron, Lafia
A total of 775, 905 Children under the ages of five years across the 13 Local government areas of Nassarawa State were administered with malaria prevention drugs in 2021.
The State Commissioner of Health, Ahmed Yahaya who dropped the figures at a media parley to mark the flag-off of the second round of the Seasonal Malaria Chemo-prevention (SMC) in Lafia, said that about 816,532 Children between the ages of 3 – 59 months were targeted in the 2nd year of the SMC Intervention programme being implemented in the state.
He said that in the first year of implementation, over 10,000 personnel were involved while a total of 775,905 children between ages 3-59 months across the 13 LGAs were administered the prevention drugs in the state.
Yahaya stated further that in this year of SMC implementation, 816,532 children have been targeted, and over 9,000 personnel have been engaged adding that the state has keyed into the SMC Intervention strategy on-going in the Sahel and Savanna Regions of the Country in the last 10 years, aimed at reducing the prevalence of Malaria, particularly amongst children less than 5 years.
“The burden of Malaria has drop from 60 percent since the creation of the State to 30 percent in 2010 and to 14. 6% in the 2018 survey. This achievement is as a result of the consistent effort put in by the leadership of the state, the State Ministry of Health, Healthcare Workers as well as support from Implementing Partners, through various strategies.”
According to the Commissioner, the achievement was as a result of Enhanced Environment & Vector Control Activities, Improved utilisation of Insecticide Treated bed Nets (ITNs), Appropriate Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC), Improved Case Management , improved Diagnosis & prompt, appropriate treatment.
The Commissioner attributed the success to support from partners and enhanced environmental and vector control activities, improved utilisation of insecticide treated beds nets (ITNs) said that the state government was doing everything possible to eliminate malaria completely from the state and achieve zero prevelence in the next few years.
Also Speaking, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Janet Angbazo said malaria was caused by a bite of a female anopheles mosquito and its consequences is seen more amongst pregnant women, children of less than five years.
While adding that malaria was dangerous and responsible for the death of so many people which was why the state government in collaboration with partners have invested heavily in the elimination, Dr Angbazo advised the public to sleep under insecticide treated nets everyday.
Earlier, Director Public Health in the ministry, Dr Ibrahim Alhassan, said the media parley was to create awareness on how to reduce the burden of malaria in the state.
“This media parley is organised to engage media professionals to ensure that the campaign against malaria reaches the nooks and crannies of the state, We are enrolling out different strategies to see how we curb the menace of Malaria in the state,” he said.
He, lauded the media for their continous support to the campaign towards the elimination of malaria and appealed for its sustenance.
Responding, the Chairman of Correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Nasarawa State Council, Isaac Ukpoju, assured that the message will be propagated to the nooks and crannies of the State.