By: FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Mohammad Baloni on Monday, called on residents of the state to contribute in bringing an end to malaria as well as encourage actions to reduce suffering and deaths from the disease.
According to her, 25th April is a day set aside by World Health Organization (WHO), to commemorate as World Malaria Day, celebrated annually, with this year’s theme, “Advance Equity, build resilience, End Malaria”.
The aim of the commemoration is to raise awareness on the global attention on the efforts being made to bring an end to Malaria.
The Commissioner expressed this during a press briefing at the Ministry of Health’s, conference room in Kaduna.
She disclosed that, “229 million cases were recorded globally, with an estimated 409,000 mortality (World malaria record 2020) mostly African children (under 5yrs) accounted for about 67% of death as a result of this scourge.
“World Malaria Day was first held in 2008 and metamorphosed from Africa Malaria Day”.
Speaking on African Malaria Day, she said, “African Malaria Day has been observed since 2001, the day was used to assess progress made towards controlling malaria and reducing its mortality in African countries In 2007.
“WHO proposed that the African Malaria Day be changed to World Malaria Day to recognize the existence of malaria in countries worldwide and to bring greater awareness to the global fight against the disease”. She added.
She further said, “Malaria exists in more than 100 countries and about 900,000 people die from this preventable disease.”
Amina spoke on Kaduna State malaria update at a glance, explaining that according to NDHS 2018, the prevalence of malaria in children under 5 years is 33%, higher than the national average of 23%.
While explaining, she said the reason why malaria control and ultimately elimination has received tremendous attention from the state leadership at all levels, is in their drive to attain a healthy population and improve human capital development indices, a sector His Excellency, Governor Nasir el-Rufai holds so dearly.
The Commissioner said the progress made so far is that Malaria programme has the highest budgetary approval for its activities in the state’s annual operational plan.
“We have achieved 68% refill rate order for all antimalarial commodities.
“Reduction of malaria test positivity rate from 60.3% in 2020 to 37.2% in 2021.67.1% of children under 5 sleep under ITN. (Hitherto known as LLIN)”.
“Procurement of antimalarial commodities, through the state health supplies management agency, worth about 298 million Naira.
“Intersectoral, inter agency and robust partner collaboration, to achieve integration of malaria service delivery.
“Distribution and monitoring of 269,040 ACTs, 260,000 RDTs, 3,333 Artesunate injection and 19,450 ITNs across 746 health facilities, including 29 secondary and tertiary hospitals in the state. 72.2% of clients who tested positive (RDT or Microscopy) to the parasite, received treatment with ACTs in first quarter 2022.
“Resumption of insecticide resistance monitoring and entomological studies at ABUTH, Zaria, receipt and storage of about 5,509,778 pieces of ITNs to be distributed to household in Kaduna state for this year’s replacement campaign, holding sometimes in July 2022.
“Mass drugs administration of SPAQ to 2.2 million children under the age of five last year 2021 at the peak of rainfall, just to prevent malaria in under five years”.
“Receipt and storage of 7,523,776 blisters of SPAQ for this year Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention activity, slated to commence sometime in July, 2022 this has been found to have resulted in reduction in the positivity rate amongst children 3-59 months of age, the target population for this intervention”. She explained.
The Commissioner of Health led the delegations to a road walk, that featured sharing of IEC materials for free malaria services.
During the walk, she said that citizens should note that ACTs supplied to 1,040 public health facilities are to be given to clients who test positive, at no cost, as this has been catered for by the state government and support from its donor partners.