By Jonathan Ugbal
The Commissioner for Health in Cross River State, Dr. Inyang Asibong says malaria is no longer the leading cause of death in the state due to efforts by the government to ensure it achieves this year’s World Malaria Day goal which seeks to end the menace of malaria for good.
Asibong, who stated this in an interview, told CrossRiverWatch added that the state has achieved up to 60 percent reduction in mortality rates attributed to malaria.
“Malaria is no longer the leading cause of death in Cross River as we have achieved over 60 percent reduction in malaria mortality rates in infants, pregnant women and adults.
“The aim is to achieve 90 percent and hopefully totally eradicate malaria from the state which is in line with this years’ theme for the World Malaria Day which is “End Malaria for Good” and it comes up on April 28.”
Explaining the reason for the World Malaria Day, Asibong said “It provides a common platform to sensitize the people and raise awareness on malaria with a bid to ensure a malaria free world” adding that, “There is a 15 year strategy which began in 2015 and will last till 2030, it is a vision strategy to lower the malaria burden and allow our children to survive as well as our pregnant women.”
On the state’s preparation for the day, she averred that there will be a rally, road shows with talks on the topic, sensitizations, community outreaches, malaria testing and treatment at health facilities across the state, interactive sessions and advocacy programs using different media platforms.
“We will work with the world theme in collaboration with several partners from the public and private sector as well as non governmental organizations and civil societies through the state malaria program to End Malaria for Good” Asibong said.
However, she lamented that people still used mosquito nets which are distributed free of charge for trivial purposes and not what they were meant for.
She said some partners were suggesting a token be paid to encourage people to use the nets judiciously.
Furthermore, Asibong said the current administration led by Governor Ben Ayade is interested in ending malaria because “ending malaria is critical to ending poverty” she said.
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