By Chioma Obinna
To mark this year’s World Malaria Day with the theme: End Malaria for Good, Kanatar companies in Nigeria, in collaboration with the World Health Organisations, WHO, Rotary Club and Non-Such HMO are targeting over 2,000 Lagosians including 250 pregnant women for malaria testing, treatment and education.
According to the WHO, 70 per cent of all malaria deaths occurred among children under the age of five in 2015 with estimated 212 million cases of malaria and 429,000 malaria –related deaths. Approximately, 90 percent of malaria cases and 92 percent of deaths occurred in the WHO African region in the same year.
To prevent these deaths in Nigeria, Kanatar companies had come together to focus on prevention and awareness creation as critical strategy for reducing the burden of the disease that has continued to kill more than 400 people annually.
At a media briefing in Lagos, the Research Manager, Kantar TNS, Ms, Seun Tuyo, who reeled out activities to mark the day, explained that the programme which will hold simultaneously in their host communities of Maryland and Ojodu areas of Lagos, will involve the distribution of 250 insecticide treated nets and free drugs to pregnant women.
She said the programme was designed to contribute to the WHO global targets of reducing the burden by at least 90 percent by 2030.
“We are targeting pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 5 years. Rotary Club of Amuwo, District 910 have donated 250 nets and test kits and Non –Such Health Management Organisation, HMO, will provide support in the area of free testing and treatment as well as health talk on malaria prevention and control, how to use the nets, and administer anti-malaria drugs to those who tested positive to the disease. We are also holding public awareness and educational rally in the host communities.”
Noting that pregnant women and children were the most vulnerable group in terms of malaria burden she stressed the need to expand access to malaria treatment and prevention strategies.
“Malaria is common in this environment. We live in communities and sometimes we find people coming down with more than three bouts of malaria attacks in a year and people continue to die. One child dies every two minutes of something that could be prevented and treated. There is need for massive awareness on malaria prevention and control. It saves money and lives. When people have the knowledge that.”
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