From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Delta State Council, has restated its commitment to deepen the fight to eradicate malaria from Africa.
The Chairwoman of the Association, Mrs Pat Gbemudu, reiterated the resolve in Asaba during a sensitisation campaign in parts of the Delta State capital.
The sensitisation campaign was organised in collaboration with the Ned Nwoko Foundation and other partners including female lawyers, Soroptimist International, Ideal Child Foundation and female medical practitioners.
Gbemudu said malaria is more deadly than even the current ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, adding that it is being given less attention despite killing more people than other diseases.
‘Malaria is a silent killer, it has been killing lots of people both adults and children. But today, we are out to let our people know that it is possible to live without, it is possible to totally eradicate malaria.
‘And we have found out that malaria is caused by the mosquito which breeds in a dirty environment. So our message to residents is that they keep their environment clean, clear the drainages to avoid stagnate water.
‘And if there is any symptom, they should go the health facility for medical services because early detection is key,’ she advised.
The Chairwoman of female lawyers in the State, Stella-Maris Mejulu, informed that the sensitisation also featured education of the people on their fundamental right to access adequate healthcare.
Mejulu said most residents are ignorant of the fact that treatment of malaria in the state was free, hence they are always afraid of approaching health facilities when they have malaria symptoms.
‘We are also here to tell them about their rights to good health. In every country, citizens have a right to medical healthcare.
‘Luckily, the Delta State Government takes the issue of health very seriously such that most of these services are free.
‘But most people will not come to the hospital because they don’t have money which is not supposed because malaria treatment is free,’ Mejulu said.
A representative of Soroptimist International, Hilary Ebonka, and the founder of Ideal Child Foundation, Awele Ideal, in their separate remarks, expressed optimism that malaria would reduce in Cable Point, a slum neighbourhood in Asaba where the sensitisation took place.
The sensitisation also featured free malaria testing and treatment.