Stakeholders Seek Drastic Measures to End Malaria



Malaria Mosquito


Stakeholders in the environment and public health have called for a holistic approach to be taken to curb the prevalence of malaria and other diseases in the country.

They noted that the Nigeria End Malaria Council should focus on ending the vicious circle through which mosquitoes breed rather than the current secondary measure of distributing Insecticidal Treated Nets.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this was the submission of the stakeholders at a symposium held in commemoration of World Mosquito Day in Abuja.

Registrar of the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria, Dr Yakubu Baba, said the rollback Malaria programme must take a fresh look at the primary aspect of prevention of malaria through the control of mosquitoes.

He said the burden of malaria has continued in the country in spite of the distribution of mosquito-treated nets.

“Studies show that even the mosquito-treated nets besides the fact that they are not properly used by the target users, are also not comfortable for people considering the style of living in Nigeria.

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“We are more outdoors in our activities than indoors, this suggests that from the hours of 5p.m when the mosquito begins to be active, most of us are outside; we cannot be moving about with mosquito net.

“Even when in the net, you still struggle to guard yourself against mosquito bites and a single bite will mean the introduction of a great number of parasites.

“So it is very important we envisage and bring to the front burner the way forward to eradicate or control mosquito,” he said.

Baba said it is imperative to stop mosquitoes from breeding as a permanent solution to the spread of malaria.

“Once you are able to get it right in terms of controlling the activity of mosquito, the other value chain of malaria control will just be a walkover,’’ the registrar said.

He also identified gaps inherent in the current malaria control programme including total neglect of the vector, appropriate research, environmental management and programming of activities.

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“Programming of malaria activities has not been favourable to mosquito control activities.

“If you go to states or even at the federal level, there is nothing or no activities that are targeted at the control of mosquito, which is the key responsible organism for malaria.

“Then, if there are no concerted efforts targeted at mosquitoes, how can we be able to really achieve the rollback malaria programme?

“Hence, it is really very apt to say that the malaria scourge fight will equally be meaningful if efforts are targeted at the mosquito itself,’’ Baba said.

Also, the National President of the Pest Control Association of Nigeria Olakunle Williams, said mosquito has inflicted immeasurable suffering on Nigerians and claimed countless lives.

He said other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, Zika virus, yellow fever and others.

Williams said that these diseases have continued to ravage communities, impeding progress and hindering socio-economic development.

“It is incumbent upon us as responsible stakeholders to take collective action and combat this menace head-on.

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“PECAN in collaboration with EHCON has been at the forefront of efforts to control mosquitoes and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in Nigeria.

“Our association has tirelessly advocated for effective pest control strategies in partnership with various stakeholders and government.

“However, our work is still far from complete and we must intensify our efforts to achieve sustainable and long-term solutions.

“We must prioritise research and innovation, strengthen surveillance and monitoring systems and integrated pest management strategies among others,’’ he said.

The Dean, Faculty of Public Health, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Godson Ana, said combating mosquitoes should be total and multi-dimensional.

He said there should be strong documentation of policies on environmental management at the grassroots, and addressing ecosystem disruption, and environmental degradation, among others.

NAN reports that World Mosquito Day is commemorated annually on August 20, and the theme for 2023 is `Fighting the World’s Deadliest Killer – The Mosquito’.




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