By Gracious George
The Bayelsa State Government on Thursday announced that with the level of success recorded, especially in the last one year, there is every indication that it is winning the war against malaria.
Despite the huge success, the government says it has continued to step up fight against malaria and it will not stop to ensure that the people are safe.
The Programme Manager of the State Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr. Kesiye Leghemo made this known in Yenagoa while speaking to our correspondent.
He said the “Hang it, Use It” Campaign which kicked off in November 2019 has seen over 35,000 households across the state and over 200 communities benefitting from the distribution of insecticide treated nets.
According to him, only 32% of the population had nets at the beginning of the campaign with a gap of 9% in utilization, highlighting the urgent need to ensure that those who had nets used them correctly and those who did not have were given.
We want to ensure that the resources that have been used for the purchase of the nets are appropriately utilized. We had 105 community volunteers going out to each ward to identify those using nets given to them through health facilities and outreaches.
Dr. Leghemo stated that another major goal of the Malaria Elimination Programme has been to strengthen the use of Fansidar across the state for the prevention of malaria in pregnant women.
He stated that the drug has been distributed to some facilities across the state and each pregnant woman is to receive a minimum of three doses during pregnancy to avoid serious health complications for mother and child, geared towards reducing maternal and infant mortality.
“This drug though small is very effective in the prevention of malaria in pregnancy. The effect of malaria in pregnancy both to the unborn child and mother is enormous and we don’t want our pregnant women losing their babies, we don’t want babies being born at still birth or at a very low weight.”
He informed that the Malaria Impact Project which is a National Malaria Elimination Programme in collaboration with the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank, will hopefully be implemented soon.
He further informed that the programme is geared at providing funding for malaria activities across the thematic areas such as case management, provision of drugs and other commodities as well as the organization of another campaign to distribute Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLIN) which will greatly reduce the prevalence of malaria in the state.
Dr. Leghemo added that the state is poised to do even more and will carry out monitoring, evaluation and surveys in communities and households to monitor the progress and impact of their work so far.