Future Minds Development Initiative (FMDI), a not for profit organization in Ibadan has gathered that all hands must be on deck for effective nationwide preventive actions against malaria and therefore call on all sundry to contribute their quota in order to eradicate this infectious disease completely.
According to Mr. Olojede Omotayo, a public health expert, Malaria is a life-threatening blood disease caused by parasites (mostly Plasmodium falsiparum) transmitted to humans through the bite of female Anopheles mosquito. Once an infected mosquito bites a human and transmits the parasites, the parasites multiply in the host’s liver before infecting and destroying the red blood cells. However, the disease can be controlled (by controlling the vector i.e. mosquitoes) and treated completely especially if diagnosed early.
As reported in the 2015 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey, about 110 million malaria cases are clinically diagnosed annually and nearly 300,000 malaria-related childhood deaths annually. Therefore, malaria is one of the major causes of death among children under – 5 and even pregnant women.
He further explained that there is a direct link between poverty, quality of life and the incidence of malaria which explains why malaria is predominantly a problem of developing countries especially among the less privileged populations.
Meanwhile, FMDI’s primary responsibility is to ensure that Nigerians are free from health challenges of any sort. We therefore call on all concerned stakeholders: the government, religious organizations, media houses, civil society organizations, non – governmental organizations, philanthropist to all contribute to the prevention and eradication of malaria in Nigeria. It is also important to ensure that the cost of therapy must be affordable even by the poorest Nigerian so that people will not seek alternative treatments (especially the traditional ones) which have no scientifically proven efficacies and may lead to serious complications.
We also call on all individuals to take more control of their health and take their health more seriously. We need to stop losing lives to malaria. According to Mr. Olojede, people need to be aware of how to reduce the chances of a vector bite. This alone is a major step in combating malaria”. He therefore, advised Nigerians to make deliberate and preventive efforts by keeping their environment clean, removing stagnant water from their environment, consistent use of long lasting insecticide treated nets and proper diagnosis before treatment.