Inesfly Africa joins fight against malaria
NIGERIANS have been told to seek alternative ways of checking increase in the incidence of malaria in the country.
Speaking with The Guardian over the weekend, Mr. Max Daluz, the chief executive of Inesfly Africa, said malaria and other forms of insect related diseases have led to so many deaths in the country, and so, Nigerians should on their own look for how to fight the fever.
While unveiling a campaign aimed at making Nigerians embrace Inesfly paint, a highly effective killer of insects: mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas and ticks, said, “the paint control vector that transmit endemic diseases including, malaria dengue fever, chagas diseases and leishmaniasis.”
He noted that over the last two decades, the fight against malaria has drawn a large support from agencies. Malaria deaths may be falling globally, but Nigeria remains one of the 10 countries, where the anopheles mosquito-borne disease is a major killer, according to a statement by the World Health Organisation.
It is said that the 165 million Nigerians are all susceptible to the malaria parasite, with less than 20 per cent of the population, covered by preventive measures such as the use of treated nets.
WHO said the fight against malaria has saved 3.3 million lives worldwide since 2000.
A shortage of funding and basic remedies like bed nets mean that malaria is still a major threat, particularly in Africa and southeast Asia, according to the World Health Organization’s Malaria Report 2013.
A surge in global funding over the past decade has led to great strides against malaria, but even levels as high as $2.5 billion in 2012 are still only half what is needed to make sure everyone at risk of malaria has access to interventions, the WHO report said.
In 2012, there were an estimated 207 million cases of malaria, causing some 627,000 deaths.
An estimated 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria worldwide, with 80 percent of cases occurring in Africa.
Tangible progress has been recorded in over half of the 103 countries with ongoing malaria transmission, with decreases in the incidence rate since 2000, said the WHO.
Death rates worldwide fell by 45 per cent between 2000 and 2012 in all age groups, and by 51 per cent in children under five.
The main interventions for malaria are indoor spraying, diagnostic testing, artemisinin-based combination drug therapies, and bed nets treated with insecticides.
Malaria parasites are showing signs of resistance to insecticides in 64 countries.
Overall, access to combination drug therapies rose, with 331 million courses delivered in 2012, up from 76 million in 2006.
According to reports, malaria is responsible for the death of more than 300,000 children under the age of five in Nigeria yearly.
The country also recorded over 100 million clinical cases of the disease annually. It is also responsible for 11 per cent of maternal deaths in the country.
It is also the major cause of morbidity and mortality, which has direct effect on the growing cases of poverty, low productivity and low school attendance in the country.
The mosquito-borne illness causes over 100 million clinical cases and is responsible for nearly 300,000 deaths in children under the age of five and 11 per cent of maternal mortality cases yearly.
Efforts by the Federal Government to eradicate the disease had not yielded much results due to structural and behavioural barriers by the citizens.
The private sector is active in the fight against malaria and has comparative advantage in the provision of the drugs, commodities and services needed to prevent and treat the disease.
It is on record that 60 per cent of patients with the illness patronise private health facilities/providers for treatment and of this number, only 4 to 10 per cent has access to quality parasite-based diagnosis because they are subjected to presumptive diagnosis and treatment.“It is reported that the private sector contributes over 38 per cent of health care facilities in the country and also provides health care services for over 60 per cent of the health seekers in Nigeria.
Malaria Action Program for States (MAPS) is one of the programmes aimed at improving malaria control in Nigeria.
The programme uses life-saving malaria interventions in support of the Nigeria National Malaria Strategic Plan and the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP).
This $65 million, USAID funded programme complements USAID’s new Target State High Impact Project (TSHIP).
The main outputs of the programme focus on pregnant women and children under 5 years of age and include:
Supporting the scale up of proven malaria interventions including: Attaining and maintaining a high level of insecticide treated bednets; Improving malaria case management at facility and community level; Expanding use of diagnostics;
Providing consistent delivery of intermittent preventive treatment to pregnant women and
Promoting positive behaviours through information, education and communication.