The ACOMIN Project Manager, Accountability and Advocacy, Mrs Bukola Ehimatie has said to that combat Malaria in Kwara State and in the country at large, the role of community dwellers such as, clergy, market women, community-based association cannot be overemphasized as communication agents with their neighbours in the language they understand on prevention and treatment of Malaria.
Ehimatie said this during a Malaria Grant state start-up meeting held between Monday and Wednesday in Ilorin.
“We need our community-based people like the faith-based clergy, different associations within the community, market Women Associations, Traditional Birth Attendant Association and others so that they can help pass right information.
“For us to combat Malaria in Kwara state we need to do environmental awareness, people need to know that for us to do away with Malaria as disease or sickness we need to keep our environment clean because mosquitoes breed where there is open drainages and stagnant water and once the infected female mosquitoes bite our children, pregnant women they get malaria so we need to do a lot of sensitization especially in the community level, once they know they are running fever or their children are running fever they need to take them to hospital so as to get adequate malaria treatment.
“The pregnant women are to be encouraged to enrol for Anti-natal Care where they get prevention treatment services,” she said.
According to her the programme is partnering with Kwara state government to strengthen Malaria intervention in the state it’s a Global Fund-supported project that is currently ongoing in Kwara state been implemented by Management Sciences for Health and Society for Family health ACOMIM which is A Civil society for Family health control nutrition and Immunization in Nigeria to ensure accountability and advocacy for Malaria Intervention.
She added that Malaria incidence reduced in Kwara some years back but after three, four years, the incidence kept increasing which made Federal Government, States Governments, donor agencies, international community realized the need to come back and intensify efforts to ensure that they reduce malaria incidence in Nigeria.
She noted that Malaria prevention is neither the responsibility of government alone nor the international community alone, as an individual we need to keep our environment clean and avoid self-medication.
Earlier in his lecture, ACOMIN national office staff Mr Richard Hule highlighted some wrong beliefs about Malaria such as, natural treatment, taken too much of Palm oil, sleeping inside LLINs nets which as causing heat, standing in the sun, children beating up by the parent, spiritual attacks and child mortality.
The speaker identified Malaria vulnerable people to be Children under five years, pregnant women, people returning to highly endemic area after a prolonged absence, patients with sickle cell, internal displaced persons and patients who had a splenectomy.
Hule noted that sleeping under insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, larval control and intermittent preventive treatment are ways of combating Malaria disease in the society.