Today is World Malaria Day. It was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) to highlight various malaria control strategies including community based activities for malaria prevention and treatment.
Studies show that about 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria, with an estimated 627,000 death rate, with the most vulnerable being children and expectant mothers.
Since the year 2000, the most common method of preventing malaria has been the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets as well as other types of insecticide.
However, according to recent estimate from the World Health Organization, many countries with cases of malaria have reduced their disease burden significantly.
A medical expert, Dr Isi Irosota of the Garrki Specialist Hospital, Abuja highlights the important factors and the prevention of the disease.
“Malaria is a parasitic infection which is caused by an organism called plasmodium.”
“There are different species of this plasmodium, but the commonest cause of malaria is the plasmodium falciparum. This parasite is transmitted by mosquito.
“When an individual is bitten by mosquito, it transmits this parasite into the individual, and this parasite makes its way into the red blood cell, infects the red blood cell, causing the red blood cell to break down.
“Malaria can be prevented by getting rid of this parasite. We can do this by keeping our environment clean, clearing bushes around the house, keeping all the surroundings neat, and then get rid of pot holes which are the breeding area of parasite.”
She explained further.
Dr Irosota advised Nigerians to maintain a clean environment. She also called on the authorities to synergize with relevant stakeholders in eradicating malaria in Nigeria.
“I appeal to the government, as well as non-governmental organizations to make available malaria medicines, and also make available insecticide-treated mosquito nets,”
The coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr Audu Mohammed says measures have been put in place by the organization to curb malaria in Nigeria.
“We provide drugs free of charge to public health facilities.”
Dr Mohammed also made it known that his organization subsidizes malaria medicines towards making them affordable to everyone.
He also noted that children under 5 are routinely immunized while expectant mothers receive malaria-preventive treatment.
He therefore advised Nigerians to visit public health facilities to access these provisions.
The theme of this year’s World Malaria Day is End Malaria for Good.
World Malaria Day is marked on the 25th of April each year.