The Cross River State Government has renewed its commitment in the eradication of malaria across the state with a call on partners and other key stakeholders to invest in the elimination of malaria while urging citizens to present themselves for testing and diagnosis before the administration of drugs in order to curb malaria related deaths.
The Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong stated this in Calabar during a malaria technical working group meeting with the state malaria elimination programme, malaria implementing partners and other key stakeholders on SMEP activities in 2020 and in seeking ways to improve services in 2021.
Dr Ekpenyong noted that malaria still contribute to the high mortality rate in the country, patients should avail themselves the opportunity to get tested before the administration of drugs.
She noted that self medication and wrong prescription from quacks have contributed to more deaths in the state, hence the need to visit health centre for confirmatory test and diagnosis.
Ekpenyong who frowned at the poor patronage of government owned facilities for testing and treatments, disclosed that the government alongside its partners have made available testing kits and drugs for the populace, and as such the need to encourage Cross Riverians to visit health facilities in times of challenges.
She further stated that as part of measures to eradicate malaria in the state, the government will release funds to tackle malaria, while also leveraging on other funding opportunity such as Save One Million Live and ensuring malaria service is captured in the benefit package of the soon to be launched Health Insurance Scheme, which will avail clients the opportunity to possess long lasting insecticide treated nets, accessibility to Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT), blood test, as well as supply of artemisinin combination therapies (ACT) drugs.
She also charged the SMEP to ensure data quality from the LGA and proper utilization of available malaria commodities as data triangulation showed wastage and poor accountability of commodities sent to facilities.
The CRSPHCDA boss warned health workers to desist from any act of misappropriation of commodities, as such act will attract sanction.
She thanked the state Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade and partners who have helped the state in actualizing the low cases of malaria across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state through improved sensitization of households on the causes of malaria, building of capacity of monitoring and evaluation of officers in data collection and analysis, as well as in the provision of long lasting insecticide treated nets and drugs.
According to a report by the World Health Organization, over 229 million people around the world were diagnosed of malaria, with a resultant death of 409,000.
Malaria is being transmitted through bites from female Anopheles mosquitoes which exist in over 400 species.
Symptoms of malaria includes, headache, fever, chills which may lead to death if not properly managed.
Malaria can be prevented by the use of insecticide treated nets, use of insecticide as well as maintaining clean environment.
The most common treatment is the use of Artemisinin Based Combination Therapy (ACT).