ASABA/Nigeria: The Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr) Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa has appealed to Deltans to collectively fight the scourge of Malaria which he claimed can be eliminated if all work assiduously to achieve that aim.
The Governor who was represented at the Flagg-off ceremony of the “Long Lasting lnsecticidal Nets Campaign” by his Deputy, Deacon (Barr) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro at the Event centre, Okpanam road, Asaba, said, Nigeria contributes a quarter of the Malaria burden in Africa, as ninety seven percent of the population in Nigeria is at risk and it is responsible for about 66 percent of all clinic attendances and poses a huge challenge on our developmental efforts.
He pointed out that this campaign is therefore a serious and practical commitment of the state governments toward the healthcare of our people, stressing that human development begins with ensuring that the people are healthy.
The Governor explained that “we believe that prevention is the best approach to taming the scourge of Malaria, given the emergence of parasites resistance to arteemisinin, the essential ingredients for artimisinin-base combination therapy (ACTs) which is used in the treatment of the disease”.
The Governor affirming this said “Part of our urban renewal efforts, is the determination to reduce the effects of flooding in the state, by clearing drainages, while new ones are being constructed in areas where they are needed. It is a fact that clean drainages are bound to reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which is the causative agent of Malaria”.
He stated further that apart from calling on Deltans to keep their environment clean, and free of containers with stagnant water, there will be aggressive campaign to ensure that every household in the state gets at least two sets of the long lasting treated mosquito Nets.
He charged Deltans to make use of the Nets, more importantly, since they are not for sale, because they have been paid for by the government and anyone caught collecting money before giving out the net would be regarded as working against the people and government interest.
The Governor assured that his government remain committed to its citizens as their programmes and policies are aimed towards the empowerment of the people through good health and capacity building in order to stimulate self employment, appealing that all should take advantage of this health programme to improve on their health status.
The wife of the Governor, Dame Edith Okowa in her acceptance speech, appealed to Deltans to always make good use of the free mosquito nets so that they could always maintain good health status.
She charged Deltans to ensure they keep clean environment, remarking that dirty environment is a breeding ground to mosquitoes, and that Malaria scourge is on the increase in the state, therefore all hands must be on deck to halt it’s further spread.
She appealed Deltans to always pay their bills to all private waste disposals so that our environment would be neat at all time since government alone cannot be responsible for making our environment clean, while appealing that the people should away sleep in their Nets to avoid mosquito bites.
The permanent secretary Delta State Ministry of Health, Dr. Mininim Oseji, who early read her speech during the event, said the campaign is giant stride toward raising the present use of insecticide treated Nets from 18 percent (2015 MIS) to at least 80 per cent which will in turn reduce Malaria burden in Delta State.
She noted “we are all aware that Malaria is a global problem and that it has existed with man for ages, but its unfortunate that sub-Sahara Africans couldn’t take a cue from Western Nations that successfully eradicated Malaria decades ago.
She added that the damages caused by this tiny creature cannot be over emphasised and must be tackled with all seriousness until it ceases to be a public health challenge.