The Cross River State Government has launched a campaign against malaria in rural areas of the state with a view to eliminating the disease.
The Zero malaria campaign tagged “Hang a Net” was launched by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, in Calabar South Local Government Area of the state.
The launch was in commemoration of the 2021 World Malaria Day Celebration with the theme: “Reaching The Zero Malaria Target”.
The Health Commissioner explained that for the goal to be attained, families must deliberately imbibe the culture of sleeping under insecticide treated nets, thereby reducing casualty rates as the insect will have little or no access to human bodies.
According to her, the intention of the government to supply families in rural areas with insecticide treated nets was a measure to control malaria, pointing out that in 2018, the state was able to distribute over 2.4 millon nets which has resulted in the low index of malaria related deaths in the state.
On her part, the Director General of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, praised health workers for the improved sensitization and outreaches, noting that it has encouraged women and families to make themselves available for testing in health facilities.
While highlighting the role each stakeholder should play in the elimination of malaria in the state, she admitted that a lot of work still needs to be done, especially to inform people on the importance of testing before treatment.
Dr. Ekpeyong urged women, especially those pregnant, to regularly attend antenatal classes and maintain clean and healthy environment that will discourage the breeding of mosquitoes.
Also speaking, Chairman of Calabar South Local Government Area, Mrs Esther Bassey, thanked the state health team for the provision of malaria drugs and testing kits, which, according to her, has discouraged the patronage of quacks and substandard drugs.