Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, has advised residents of the state to adhere to preventive methods of addressing the malaria burden and not wait to cure the disease.
Dr Ezenyimulu said this on Thursday, during an advocacy follow-up visit by the Malaria Eradication and Safe Health Initiative (MESHI) under the Global Fund Community Rights and Gender (CRG) project at the ASPHCDA office complex, Awka.
The advocacy centred on Community Diagnosis for Malaria Intervention, which was carried out in three communities of Anambra State.
The ES said the National Malaria Elimination Programme also funded by Global Fund, was again up and running with series of activities being carried out.
“We have just concluded series of training in the State, Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Micro Planning, which were all geared towards the upcoming distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) in the State.
“This shows that Anambra is one of the States selected to participate in this programme, and we are grateful to Global Fund and other partners in the fight against malaria.
“We all know that malaria is a high-burden disease that accounts for the highest number of absenteeism at work, schools and also hospital admissions.
“The cost of malaria treatment from the out-of-pocket expenditure of citizens is relatively high, so we must do everything to prevent malaria.
“We derived our modes of intervention from the modes of transmission of the disease, which in this case is preventing the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito through the use of the ITNs,” Dr Ezenyimulu explained.
She, then, expressed gratitude to all involved in concerted efforts aimed at eradication of malaria and thanked the team for the advocacy.
The Team Leader and Executive Director, MESHI, Prof. Dennis Aribodor regretted that health intervention programmes, including malaria intervention, have been a top-down approach for quite sometime and this has its limitations in achieving desired goals.
He explained that the CRG project was designed to be a bottom-up approach in delivering malaria interventions in communities.
“The idea is to ensure ownership, demand creation and sustainability in the struggle to control and eliminate malaria,” he added.
He said reasons for the advocacy include- to budget for the provision and distribution of free insecticidal treated mosquito nets for malaria prevention and to ensure free antenatal services for pregnant mothers in the state health facilities.
Aribodor said; “It is also to work towards adequate creation of awareness and public enlightenment for malaria prevention and control using effective means and to budget and ensure periodic fumigation/indoor residual spraying to protect from malaria in our communities.”
Dr Chukwudi Egbuche, Assistant Coordinator, MESHI, opined that their organisation was available to ensure routine checks to monitor how intervention projects are being carried out.
According to him, “Our key emphasis is on sustainability, and our aim is that activities and projects are carried out effectively.’’