Malaria remains a major health burden and consequence of global poverty and inequity, World Malaria Day provides the opportunity to assess the progress made thus far and determine achievements of the malaria control programme. Under 5-year-old children and pregnant women are the mostly affected individuals because of the reduced or lower immunity. HIFASS commemorates the World Malaria Day annually and the 2018 edition was organised in partnership with White Ace Initiative (WAI) also a Non-Governmental Organization and material support from National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and Codix Pharmaceuticals www.codixpharma.com
The commemoration of the World Malaria Day organized by HIFASS and WAI partnership as a community outreach activity was held at Dakwo community of the Lokogoma area of Federal Capital Territory on 28th April, 2018. The Theme of the 2018 World malaria day is “Ready To Beat Malaria.
In line with the theme, malaria Rapid Diagnostic test using Malaria SD Bioline was performed on 219 individuals; 61 under 5 year old children and 151 pregnant and non-pregnant women. The positivity rate of the under 5 children was 1.5%, and the pregnant and non-pregnant women was 3.9%. The average positivity rate was 3.1%. As a preventive measure to reduce the risk of malaria infection Long Lasting Insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLINs) were distributed to children and their mothers and pregnant women. Anti-malaria drugs were also given to those who were tested positive.
Distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide treated Nets
In an interview with HIFASS Deputy Director Laboratory, Col Felix Adeoye (Rtd) stated that the focus of the outreach activity was on children between the ages of 6 months to 5years and pregnant women who are prone to have malaria when bitten by malaria infected mosquitoes. He also implored the Government to extend the distribution of long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets to the rural communities and the community to keep a clean environment.
A beneficiary, Joy Doris Akuta commented on the activity, “I really appreciate and thank God for bringing such an opportunity to this community because this is what other communities are longing to have but are not privileged to. Women and children who are unable to pay medical bills die of malaria and I thank this organization for their free malaria test and drugs provided to us”.