By Kemi Olatunde
Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Awolowo Ajaka has reiterated government’s avowed commitment towards reducing malaria in the state.
He spoke yesterday in his office on the occasion of the World Malaria Day 2023 themed;” Time to Deliver Zero Malaria.”
According to him, malaria is a burden mostly in sub Saharan Africa stating that statistics have shown that the disease constitutes more than 60 percent of all cases present in health facilities.
He explained that it is responsible for 30 percent death of children under the age of five and 10 percent death of pregnant women due to its complications yearly.
The commissioner noted that government had distributed about three million insecticidal nets to all households in the 18 local government areas in the state to reduce the prevalence of malaria.
The commissioner noted that the state has continued to do follow up to ensure increased utilization of these nets in the homes, especially among pregnant women and children under the age of five.
The follow-up, according to Ajaka, has yielded good results evidenced by the new report by the National Malaria Indicator Survey 2021 released in 2023 which showed that the prevalence of malaria in the state has fallen from 34 percent to 27 percent
The Commissioner assured of government investment in the reduction of prevalence of malaria in the state by channeling more resources, both funds and materials in the fight against malaria and bringing new ideas in combating the scourge of the disease as well as put into action all the ideas that have been put in place.
He hinted that government has been partnering with civil society organisations across the 18 local government areas to sensitize and create awareness among citizens at the grassroots on the prevention of malaria
He appreciated partners that have been working to reduce the prevalence of malaria in the state especially the World Health Organization (WHO), Malaria Consortium, John Hopkins University of Programmes Implementation Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO) and National Malaria Elimination Programme Abuja.
Dr Ajaka however called for more international partnership to enhance a collective malaria elimination in the state.
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