We’re Dredging Streams, Rivers, Waterways to Tackle Malaria in Osun —Aregbesola
Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday said no effort would be spared in rolling back malaria scourge in the state, saying dredging of drainages, streams and expansion of river channels were part of the measures deployed by his administration to enhance a healthy environment.
He contended that filthy environment, which serves as impetus for breeding mosquitoes; spreading malaria would not be tolerated in the state to boost the health of the citizenry.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the replacement campaign of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) held at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo, Aregbesola, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye Tomori affirmed that the distribution of 3 million pieces of LLINs anti-malaria mosquito nets would complement the efforts being made so far in the fight against malaria in the state.
He described malaria as one of the factors mitigating against productivity and as well causing poverty in the country, saying his government would not rest on its oars to wage war against the scourge.
While observing that studies have shown that malaria contributed significantly to poverty because it reduces productivity by as much as 40 per cent and increases household expenditure on drugs and treatment from five to 20 per cent, Aregbesola maintained that malaria also reduces life expectancy by about 20 years.
According to him, “In spite of the huge amount the governments, both the Federal and the state, spend in the provision of curative malaria drugs with the support received from the Global Fund, the state still records high rate of malaria cases, hence the shift to prevention of mosquito bites through the current use of treated nets by sleeping inside the net.”.
“Malaria still claims up to one million lives a year and most of these deaths are in Sub-Saharan Africa, a part of the world in which our country is located. Of this huge number, 75 per cent are children under five years.”
“It is also a known fact that Nigeria alone bears about 25 per cent of Africa’s malaria burden. Deaths from malaria account for up to 11 per cent of maternal mortality (death of pregnant women up to six weeks after delivery), it is sad to note that 25 per cent deaths among children below one year, 30 percent of deaths among children under five years and 60 per cent of all hospital presentations are recorded from malaria in Nigeria,” Aregbesola remarked.
He further stressed that unlike the conventional net that lasts for about six months to one year, saying that the present one could last for three years if instructions are followed as recommended.